Special Correspondent

T.N. Chaturvedi cautions against falling prey to such deceptions

MYSORE: Governor T.N. Chaturvedi on Monday expressed dismay over the growing tendency among people to be lured by fraudulent degrees and honours instituted by fake institutions and cautioned against falling prey to such deceptions.

He also took exception to two faculty members of the University of Mysore obtaining such degrees for a consideration, and said such incidents undermined public faith in the universities. "I read about that in today's papers and if it is true it is also painful," he remarked.

The Governor was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Life Science Building, International Guesthouse and the Pareeksha Bhavan on the Manasagangotri campus. He was reacting to the disclosure made by Vice-Chancellor J. Shashidhar Prasad that two faculty members of the university had obtained high-sounding degrees from dubious universities in the U.S. on payment of $500 each.

"I too keep receiving invitations to be a part of the board of such institutions to identify and honour people for their `contributions' and this includes many biography societies from the U.S. But I can distinguish between what is fake and what is genuine," Mr. Chaturvedi said.

Referring to the state of affairs in various universities in India, the Governor said the older universities were in a state of turmoil and there was some churning within, and even the University of Mysore underwent such a turmoil and had now stabilised.

He added that older universities had an important role to play and lead the newer ones. In this context, the Governor reiterated the importance of quality education and said teachers and staff were expected to adhere to certain values, which, he said, was on the decline.

He referred to complaints being received from research scholars from various universities in Karnataka that scholarship money was not released in full.

The issue here was not of punitive action but lack of values expected of the faculty staff. The Governor said he favoured autonomy to the universities without extraneous influences but this should be dovetailed with greater accountability.

Earlier, he laid the foundation stone for the new facilities being created on the campus and expressed happiness that the architectural design of the new buildings blended with the prevailing heritage value of the existing structures.