Sinlung /
02 May 2013

Meghalaya Varsity Gives 434 Ph.D. Degrees in One Year, Faces Probe

FPAdvt says a dental clinic in Panchkula can be contacted for a Ph.D. from CMJ University

A private university in Meghalaya has created a record of sorts: it has awarded Ph.D. degrees to as many as 434 candidates in 2012-13 academic year, even as only 10 of its faculty members have doctorates. In fact, according to an advertisement put out by the CMJ University, Meghalaya's first private state university set up in 2009, one can even approach a dental clinic in Panchkula for applying for a Ph.D. degree from the varsity.

The university has come under the scanner of many, including Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary, who, in his capacity as the varsity's Visitor, has asked it to withdraw all degrees awarded so far.

Terming the admission of over 3,300 students as "illegal", the governor has directed the university not to take fresh admissions until a new Chancellor is appointed as per UGC regulations.

The Meghalaya Police have also registered a case against the university. "Yes, the CID has registered a case against CMJ University," Meghalaya DGP Prem Singh told The Indian Express over the telephone from Shillong Wednesday. He, however, refused to divulge any details.

None of the university officials were available for comment.

Observing that the university's current Chancellor, Chandra Mohan Jha, was appointed without his approval, Mooshahary, in a directive issued to the varsity yesterday, said: "Consequently all further actions of the CMJ University resulting from the appointment of the Chancellor are illegal and void ab initio".

Stating that the university had enrolled 3,379 students for various courses since 2010-11, the Raj Bhawan directive said all these admissions were illegal. It also said all the Ph.D. degrees awarded by the university were "in contravention" of the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M Phil/ PhD degree) Regulations, 2009. The Governor pointed out that only 10 of the university's faculty members have Ph.D. degrees.

While the university awarded 434 Ph.D. degrees during 2012-13, 490 more were enrolled for its Ph.D. programmes in the same period.

When the Assam government raised doubts about its Ph.D. programmes, the university issued an advertisement in a leading Guwahati-based daily on April 19 saying it had "not yet awarded any Ph.D. degree to any of the students enrolled from the state of Assam till date." The advertisement also said the university was currently not enrolling any student for its M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes.
Describing this claim as "false and misleading", the Governor said he has "reliable information" that the university has indeed awarded Ph.D. degrees to candidates from Assam.


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