by: Sanketh Ganjigere
A fresh degree certificate scandal has hit Bangalore University BU) where a man was “fraudulently” awarded a Bachelor of Education degree which had the register number that belonged to a high school teacher.
An internal inquiry headed by Law Dean K M Hanumantharayappa has been constituted to investigate the case. In 1998, B Sujatha (98DC096) completed her BEd course through distance education. However, in the 41st mini convocation held in 2006, Joshwa Samuel, bearing the same register number, was awarded a BEd degree.
The matter came to light when the Government High School, Byatha (Tumkur), sent Sujatha’s BEd marks cards for verification after she was promoted to teach high school, for which BEd is a prerequisite qualification. “Initially, we were under the impression that Sujatha had fraudulently received her degree certificate. When she provided the necessary documents, we checked our records again and found that no student named Joshwa Samuel was admitted for a BEd degree. It is clearly the university’s fault and we are inquiring,” said R K Somashekhar, Registrar (Evaluation).
At this point, the university does not know who Joshwa Samuel is. However, it is sure that he got the BEd degree “fraudulently”. This matter was placed before the Syndicate in October 2013, where it was confirmed that the degree bearing register number 98DC096 should be given to Sujatha. Subsequently, on December 4, the university issued a public notice stating that Samuel does not hold a BU degree anymore.
Prof Somashekhar maintained that Sujatha applied for her degree certificate only last year. But Express has learnt from reliable sources that Sujatha applied for a certificate in the 34st Convocation in 1999 itself.
Prof Hanumantharayappa said the investigation is yet to start. Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda said those found guilty, within the university or outside, will not be spared. “We need to put an end to this menace. We will act based on the inquiry report,” he told Express.
Meanwhile, the university has identified 29 cases of fake degree certificates as of September last year. Most of these fake certificates are BSc, BCA and BCom degrees. “We received requests for verification of these certificates from various companies and consulates. When we checked our records, we found that the university had not issued these certificates. They have been issued outside the university,” said Prof Somashekhar, who has filed a complaint about these cases with the Jnana Bharathi police.
Prof Somashekhar blamed students for indirectly paving way for such malpractices. “We can control such malpractices if they apply and get their certificates in the subsequent annual convocation. For example, in 2012-13, around 47,000 students were eligible to get degree certificates, but only 30,000 applied.”