By Our Correspondent
CHANDIGARH: On September 6 the belligerent
private universities of Punjab got united to oppose
a Punjab government move to constitute a regulatory
body to monitor functioning of private institutes.
The meeting was called by a Cabinet sub-committee to
take stock of the situation where all private
universities unanimously said that any regulator
would have the “worst impact”.
The meeting was chaired by the Cabinet sub-committee
head, health minister Brahm Mohindra, at Punjab
Bhawan where chancellors of all private universities
operating in Punjab and representatives of
government universities too participated. Technical
education minister Charanjit Channi and education
minister Aruna Chaudhary also attended as members of
The private universities challenged the
regulatory body as “unconstitutional”, citing an
order of the Himachal Pradesh high court on a
similar body there. It must, however, be noted that
the HC order quashing the regulatory body has since
been stayed by the Supreme Court on an appeal by the
“We are not against making a pro-student environment
in the institutes of Punjab,” stressed Satnam Sandhu,
chancellor of Chandigarh University and added. “But,
before making any such regulatory authority, the
government must keep in mind that in Himachal, the
only state to have a regulatory body, their HC had
termed this body as unconstitutional. Punjab must
study the model of the hilly state where many
institutes closed after the body came into existence
seven years back.”
Chancellor of another university situated in
Doaba said that the state’s move would affect
private universities “the way industrial packages
given to Himachal have led to shifting of industry
from Punjab”. “If seats are capped through the
regulatory body, private universities working in
Punjab would not get a level-playing fields. How
will we compete with states where there is no
capping?” he asked. “Moreover, before becoming
private universities, we were running colleges; the
reason we chose to become universities was to get
autonomy. Any regulator at the state level is an
attack on our autonomy.”
Some want it!
According to sources not all private
universities want to oppose the government move but
their chancellors preferred to keep mum at the
“Some private universities even want capping of the
seats to end the monopoly of two or three big
players who are calling the shots at present in the
education business. They are of the opinion that a
regulatory body may provide all universities a
level-playing field,” said a source who was in the
Sources in the government have told HT that some
private universities exerted pressure to defer the
proposal, and the formation of the cabinet
sub-committee was a result of that.
All government-run universities representatives
have hailed the proposal. “The regulatory body is
the need of the hour as our private as well as
government institutes must live up to the changing
demands as per needs of the industry,” said Channi.
Supreme Court okays dissolution of CJM
SHILLONG/NEW DELHI : On September 13 last year the Supreme
Court dismissed the special leave petition filed by
Chandra Mohan Jha Foundation formally paving the way
for the legal dissolution of the controversial
university of Shillong.
The apex court passed the order after hearing the
SLP filed by Chandra Mohan Jha challenging the
Meghalaya High Court order and directed the Megalaya
state government to follow the Governor’s order
asking for dissolution of the CMJ University within
The Court had referred to the June 12 direction
of the then Governor R S Mooshahary who was also the
Visitor of CMJ University, regarding the dissolution
of the University as per Section 48 of the CMJ
University Act, 2009.
Section 48 says that on identification of
mismanagement and mal-administration, the State
Government would issue directions for rectification
to the University. If the directions are not
followed, the State Government can take steps to
wind up the University.
Mooshahary had earlier said that from
established facts, it was clear that there has been
mismanagement, mal-administration, indiscipline and
failure in the accomplishment of the objectives of
the University, apart from criminal liability.
Mooshahary had sought for the dissolution of the
University in the interest of maintaining proper
standards of higher education in the State. The
State Regulatory Board for Higher Education had also
accepted the recommendations of the Governor for
closure of the University.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has
constituted a nine-member committee for the
inspection of CMJU. Sources have informed that the
UGC would be meeting on September 24 and submit its
report on CMJU to the State Government.
The university's contention is that the Visitor
- who is the head of the state machinery - has no
authority to recommend for dissolution of the
University even under the CMJ University Act.
The Governor as the Visitor of the University had
earlier on June 12, recommended for closure of the
University in accordance with Section 48 of the CMJ
University Act, 2009, besides pointing several
irregularities including functioning on the strength
of a self-appointed chancellor without the approval
of the visitor which is in gross violation of
Section 14 (1) of the CMJ University Act, 2009 on
the presumption of ‘deemed approval’ by the Visitor.
confiscates 4000 Ph.D theses from CMJ
SHILLONG : On July 26 the CID sleuths raided
the controversial CMJ University here and
confiscated about 4000 Ph.D theses submitted
for approval by various candidates. University
sources say that about 6000 more remain at the
university's Jorabat office.
The calculation is rather simple — multiplying
Rs 1.27 lakh by 10,000 — but the result, Rs 127
crore, is what boggles the mind. This is the
approximate figure CMJ University may have allegedly
been earned by doling out Ph.Ds to aspirants from
all over India.
And that’s not all. The university apparently
offered doctorates on all kind of subjects — from
physical education to law, women’s studies to
commerce, to name a few.
The private university, which went under the scanner
after former Meghalaya governor and Visitor Ranjit
Shekhar Mooshahary pointed out glaring
inconsistencies in its administration, was raided
again by CID sleuths on July 26. The raid at the
university’s office at Laitumkhrah here was part of
the ongoing investigation of the department after a
FIR was filed against
the university by Mooshahary on April 26.
Reporters came across a hardbound thesis — Role of
ICICI Bank in Housing Finance — a case study NCR —
by Amit Naru. Inside, however, the subject changed —
A Study of Emotional Intelligence and Self-concept
of Kho-Kho Players and Non Kho-Kho Players, written
by Sheikh Rafiq Afsar.
The department, which was acting in response to a
FIR filed against the university by Mooshahary on
April 26, seized around 4,000 theses which were
submitted by PhD aspirants from all over the
There were others with titles like The Opinion
Survey about Doping of Gujarat Sports Players,
Marketing Low-Cholesterol Oil in Northern India,
Marketing Strategies of Key Players in Soft Drink
Industry — all pointing to the wide range of
subjects the university covered under its PhD
When reporters reached the university, some sleuths
were busy compiling the seizure list, noting down
the names of students, their guides and their
A CID officer said they had seized around 4,000
theses. But that was not all. He said there were
another 6,000 on the university’s campus at Jorabat
in Ri Bhoi district which were yet to be seized.
According to the university’s website, each student
desiring to pursue a PhD programme would have to pay
Rs 1.27 lakh.
“You might as well calculate the amount earned by
the university from its PhD programme alone,” the
CID officer said while taking note of a thesis,
Corruption in India: Hurdles and Remedies. The
officer also suspected that all these PhD theses
were printed in Calcutta as the print and design
were similar. However, it is still not clear as to
how many PhD students have been awarded the degree
from among the 10,000-odd students who have
reportedly submitted their theses.
Mooshahary had earlier alleged the private
university had awarded PhD
degrees to 434 students during 2012-2013, and
enrolled 490 students for the PhD programme during
the same academic year. However, at a later stage,
Mooshahary had alleged that the university had
awarded PhD degrees to more individuals in addition
to the 434.
Later in the evening, deputy chief minister Roytre
Christopher Laloo said the education department had
issued a showcause notice to the university, asking
it why it should not be dissolved.