Meghalaya governor seeks information on fake PhDs

Shillong, June 7 (IANS) Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary Thursday asked CMJ University vice-chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha to clarify his stand on the issue of alleged fake PhDs being granted by the varsity.

Jha has been missing and on the run for over than a month, evading police arrest, after Mooshahary, who is also a visitor at the private university, exposed irregularities in its functioning.

"More and more things are coming out in the open about the university, whether in Maharashtra or Nagaland. It appears that his (Jha's) wrongdoings have spread across India. Therefore, it is better he comes out in the open and clarifies things," Mooshahary told IANS.

CMJ University had been running distance education centres outside the state, in other parts of the country, as well as in some centres abroad, in breach of University Grants Commission regulations and guidelines.

Mooshahary said he had written letters to the governors of all states and union territories informing them about the CMJ University scam. "I have also written to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development regarding this issue," he said.

"Most of the governors have replied, and they informed that the matter has been referred to the respective departments in their concerned states," he said.

Asked whether the CMJ University fraud should be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as the private varsity has allegedly issued fake PhDs across the country, Mooshahary said: "It is up to the state police to take a decision on whether they will continue investigations or hand this matter over to the CBI."

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had hinted that the government may ask the CBI to probe the illegal functioning of the controversial CMJ University.

The CMJ varsity has created a record of sorts by awarding PhD degrees to 434 candidates in the 2012-13 academic year. It enrolled 490 students for the PhD programme during 2012-2013.

What is significant is that only 10 of its faculty members have doctorate degrees.

Meghalaya's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), investigating the alleged lapses of CMJ University, unearthed a number of irregularities in its functioning.

The CID has arrested the varsity's registrar, Mrinal Kanti Deb, deputy registrar Premlal Rai, university director Manjeet Kaur, and human resource manager Juban Kharpuri, on charges of fraud and cheating.

However, the CID sleuths are also still in the dark about the whereabouts of Jha.

"We are not sure about his whereabouts, since he keeps changing his location frequently. But we are making all efforts to trace him," S.K. Jain, chief of state CID, told IANS.

A lower court in Meghalaya had also issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Jha in connection with alleged forgery and irregularities by the institution.

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