In a surprise raid, government officials sealed a fake university offering courses in alternative medicine, at Kuttalam in Nagapattinam district on Thursday.
The university has been functioning for 12 years. Thursday’s action came in the wake of an advertisement issued by the ‘university’ in a vernacular daily.
According to sources, a group of officials from the police, revenue and health departments went to the Open International University for Alternative Medicine (OIUAM), under the guise of seeking admission.
After watching the activities of five persons employed in the building, the officials searched the premises.
The building — with a carpet area of about 750 sq ft — had a couple of computers, printers, stamps and degree and diploma certificates. There were old copies of prospectus too.
They also questioned staff members claiming to be the ‘faculty’, ‘controller of examinations’ and ‘manager’. After ascertaining that it was a fake university, revenue officials sealed the premises.
The team confiscated documents including degree certificates, marksheets, prospectus, receipts and invitations.
Enquiries revealed that T. Selvaraj, 55, of Thiruvelvikudi near Mayiladuthurai, who is absconding, was running the institutionfrom a rental building without any affiliation. He had proclaimed himself as the chancellor of the university. He also called himself the founder and president of the National Board of Alternative Medicine.
R. Mahendran, joint director, health services, Nagapattinam, who led the operation, told The Hindu that the fake university was “offering” nearly a dozen degrees, diploma and diploma courses on alternative medicine. “About 1,000 certificates in the name of the fake university have been issued to candidates from different parts of the country,” Mr. Mahendran said.
Selvaraj had reportedly collected ₹1 lakh per person for issuing the certificates without conducting classes or exams. Some Malaysian and Myanmar nationals were among those who had received the fake certificates.
According to the website of the ‘National Board of Alternative Medicine’, candidates could receive degrees based on their experience. Selvaraj, who claimed to hold membership and fellowships in various national and international bodies, also has a website in the name of Open International University for Alternative Medicine.