Thursday, 5 November 2015

Nearly 2,000 primary school teachers might have fake BEd degrees: SIT

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AGRA: With the BEd degrees of about 2,000 primary teachers here found to be suspect, the current acute shortage of teachers is likely to become worse. The special investigation team (SIT) team investigating the UP BEd degree scam found that over 30 colleges in Agra, Mathura, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Kasganj and Etah affiliated to BR Ambedkar University had been giving out marksheets to many students who were never enrolled in the first place. Many holding these mark-sheets had gone on to take up teaching jobs in government schools.

The SIT had called senior staff of BR Ambedkar University for interrogation on Tuesday. As per SIT sources, around 30 colleges affiliated to the university were found to have participated in the fraud which was allegedly supported by senior officials of the institution.

Last month, the SIT filed an FIR against five senior officials of the university, including its former VC and registrar. The FIR also names around 400 students who allegedly received fake degrees.

"Investigations revealed that around 30 colleges affiliated to Agra University provided fake marksheets to students, who have taken up jobs as government teachers. While 400 BED applicants have been named, the number might reach 2,000 after final verification of marksheets," said a senior official with the SIT in Lucknow.

The official alleged that the authorities of Ambedkar University are not cooperating in the investigation, which is delaying it. He added that SIT will also make mass arrests of students and university officials once investigations are over.

"Fearing the SIT, many people who have taken the fake BEd degree have now started quitting their jobs. Many officials of the university haven't turned up for questioning," added the official.

Investigators have already lodged an FIR against former registrar Shiv Pujan and clerk Harish Kasana in the examination department, BEd department in-charge Mahipal Singh and Ramvrat assistant registrar Ramvrat.

The fraudulence only came to light quite by accident — in 2012, Sunil Kumar, a student of Shiv Dhaam Singh College, Aligarh, affiliated to BR Ambedkar University, filed a writ petition in the Allahabad high court seeking action after wrong information was provided to him by the university. The student said he had been enrolled for the BEd programme in the 2005-06 academic session and received two different results. That session was long delayed, and the final examinations were held in 2009-10.

Sunil Kumar passed his BEd degree in the second division. He would only qualify for a certain government job that he had coveted if he had scored first division. Kumar lost his BEd certificate, and applied for a duplicate from the university.

He was shocked to see that the duplicate marksheet came with a first division. He then took the matter to the Allahabad high court, alleging that by giving out an erroneous marksheet earlier, the university had ruined his career.

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