Government orders probe into management of centres

A controversy is raging at the University of Calicut over the conduct of distance education centres in the Gulf.

With the government on Monday ordering an investigation into the way in which the university started and managed the distance education centres in the Gulf, the top officials on Tenhipalam campus are making all efforts to cover up the issue.

The Gulf trips conducted by the university officials, including Vice-Chancellor M. Abdul Salam and Pro Vice-Chancellor K. Raveendranath, in the name of visiting the university centres at different Arab countries will be investigated.

Employees belonging to different organisations affiliated to both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) have united in demanding a thorough investigation into the sanctioning and management of distance education centres in the Gulf.

Teachers belonging to the Left union too have demanded a high-level investigation.

Complaints have been sent to several Central departments, including the Foreign Affairs Ministry, seeking their investigation into the university’s involvement in the management of the Gulf centres.

Higher Education Principal Secretary K.M. Abraham will investigate the situation which led to the allegations and complaints against the university and the role of the university officials in the management of the Gulf centres. There were only four centres in the Gulf till two-and-a-half years ago.

The recent years saw a mushrooming of the centres, with the current figures showing 24 centres across the Gulf.

Mass copying

Widespread corruption and mass copying were alleged against the centres. The university has been accused of turning a blind eye to the issue of mass copying. The way the university managed the centres too was allegedly illegal.

The university officials frequently visited the centres on visas, faking their purpose of visit.

Pro Vice-Chancellor K. Ravindranath made a recent visit on a visa for a ‘sales executive.’

As examination or management of the distance education centres cannot be done on visit visa in the Gulf, those who run the centres provided the university officials with visas of fake purposes.

“It is illegal. And the university has been engaged not only in such illegal activities, but also promotion of corruption and dilution of quality education,” chorused the Joint Forum of employees here.

Meanwhile, the university’s top officials have sought the help of the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leadership. Most nominated members of the last Syndicate belonging to the Congress and the IUML had made trips to the Gulf for several purposes, including inspection of the distance education centres.

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