A former acting Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University has been booked by the Delhi Police for allegedly granting approvals to certain private universities in conspiracy with some employees of the Distance Education Council (DEC) in violation of set procedures.

The former Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor M. Aslam, has been named in the First Information Report registered on Thursday at the Neb Sarai police station on the basis of a complaint lodged by R. Sudarsan, Deputy Director with the Planning and Development Division of IGNOU. The complainant alleged that Prof. Aslam gave the approvals without any inspection of the universities.

It has been alleged that he along with others manipulated minutes of the DEC meeting to grant undue favours to the universities for an apparent illegal gratification, as the approval resulted in monetary benefits to the universities in the form of fees from students.

Pointing out that in similar circumstances approvals were granted to two universities allegedly by former Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai in violation of the norms, for which a case was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation last year, the complainant said Prof. Aslam had taken over as acting Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU from Prof. Pillai in October 2011. “The handing over of the charge to Prof. Aslam was against the relevant statute of IGNOU and the matter…is pending before the Delhi High Court.”

The complainant said the DEC had granted approval to the private universities for three years, which was to expire in 2011-12, and as per policy these universities were to be inspected by a team of experts consisting nominees of the University Grants Commission and the All-India Council for Technical Education. It is only on the basis of its report that the institutions are given approval.

However, according to the FIR, Prof. Aslam -- the then chairman of DEC, -- and the officials concerned allegedly did not appoint any expert committee for inspection of the universities. “Prof. Aslam along with the other DEC officials prepared a list of the universities whose approvals were to expire in 2011-12 and placed it before the Tripartite Committee. Prof. Asian presented before the Committee that the private institutions and universities should be given approval for two years without inspection, not disclosing the fact that no efforts had been made to organise the visits to these institutions.”

At least five universities allegedly benefited through the same modus operandi. Following strong objections, the complainant alleged that minutes of crucial meetings were manipulated and cleared by the accused persons to grant approvals to the institutions for two years without inspection.