Kerala

Fooling teachers with fancy awards

It’s been raining ‘awards’ for the teaching faculty at the University of Kerala lately.

However, many of these so-called recognitions have been instituted by bogus groups, prompting the teachers’ organisation to issue an advisory to teachers warning them against such vanity award rackets.

NGOs

Several teachers have claimed to have received offers for awards from non-governmental organisations (NGO), many of which were based out of other States. Numerous such awards, which purportedly sought to exploit one’s sense of pride, even while seemingly highlighting their achievements, were proposed in return for money.

Having selected as recipient for a ‘life time achievement award’ by a Bengaluru-based NGO recently, a professor at the varsity was asked to apply for membership in order to avail himself of the award. The nature of the award would be decided by the type of membership that he would availed himself of.

“The highest award they conferred came with a proposal of a VIP membership costing ₹50,000. It included a Mysore Peta (a traditional headgear), a gold-plated plaque, and a gold-plated medal. There were other cheaper membership categories with the gold covering being replaced with silver and brass,” the teacher, who requested anonymity, said.

According to Kerala University Teachers Organisation (KUTO) joint secretary A.S. Thajudeen, groups that gave away such vanity awards claimed to have the patronage of prominent personalities to create an impression of credibility.

“After it came to light that the name of the Madras High Court was being misused by an NGO, which claimed a serving judge to be one of its patrons, we brought the matter to the notice of the High Court authorities to ascertain the scam. These worthless awards were generally instituted in the names of various stalwarts including Mahatma Gandhi and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. We have been trying to create awareness among teachers through our newsletters,” Dr. Thajudeen said.

More preys

Achuthsankar S. Nair, Head, Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, who declined one-such award recently, said the names of previous awardees were being touted to find other preys to the racket.

“An eminent scholar and poet was once included in a list published by a vanity business firm based in England. This had later resulted in several unsuspecting teachers in accepting their nominations,” he said.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 2:50:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/fooling-teachers-with-fancy-awards/article25022929.ece

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