IoE to KIIT University: UGC may take a call on BJD Lok Sabha MP Dr Samanta’s Fraudulent Means

0
219

By Anurjay Dhal

RAJKANIKA/KENDRAPARA: With Union Human Resources Development Ministry directing all offices of Ministry of HRD and its Autonomous Institutions & Subordinate offices shall remain closed for a period of 3 weeks, the ongoing probe by the University Grant Commission basing on Media reports on ‘Institution of Eminence’ status given to Bhubaneswar, Odisha based , KIIT deemed to be University, founded and run by the ruling BJD’s  Lok Sabha MP from tribal dominated, religious conversion hit southern district of Odisha’s Kandhamal , Dr Achyuta Samanta despite lacking adequate merit for the status, will be delayed for some time, sources in UGC told over phone from New Delhi on Wednesday.

The www.indianewsdiary.com, is the only media house from Odisha , has been following this development after the New Delhi based leading English Daily, ‘The Indian Express’ exposed a massive irregularities in awarding IeO to Bhubaneswar based KIIT and VIT, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Soon after the media reports in New Delhi, The www.indianewsdiary.com had sent an email questionnaire to both UGC Chairman Prof DP Singh and Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhaial’s Office asking for their reply.

After getting  an email questionnaire The www.indianewsdiary.com, UGC had started a probe into the issue. “As you know , in view of COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent directive by Ministry of Home Affairs, work in UGC office will be affected for about 3 weeks from now, so our ongoing probe against KIIT University will take a bit time,” sources in UGC said over phone from New Delhi on Wednesday.

 The office of  Prof DP Singh, Chairman,UGC had earlier informed over phone from New Delhi that it had received the email sent to it by the News Website and had started a probe into the Institution of Eminence (IoE) status given to Bhubaneswar, Odisha based KIIT deemed to be University, despite lacking adequate merit for the status.

Talking over phone from New Delhi, officials manning the office of UGC Chairman Prof Singh, however informed that since the matter was related to ‘Institution of Eminence’, they had forwarded the mail to the concerned wing of UGC to take necessary action. He had then informed that Prof  Tripathy of UGC had been asked to look into it and an email reply will be sent in detail to the News Website The www.indianewsdiary.com,  soon,” the official told over phone from New Delhi.

He however informed that UGC may reconsider its decision to accord IoE to KIIT deemed to be University and “We are waiting a probe report from our concerned wing,” he added

It may be noted here that the office of UGC Chairman was initially reluctant to react to Union HRD Ministry’s notice to UGC on ‘Institution of Eminence’ status to KIIT deemed to be University, but soon after WWW.INDIANEWSDIARY.COM sent the same questionnaires to the office of Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhrial , UGC swung into action and has started probe.

Earlier, officials manning the office of UGC Chairman had however sought written questions to comply with answers. As per the demand, www.indianewsdiary.com, had sent questions to Union HRD Minister’s office as well as office of UGC chairman Prof DP Singh to sent their reactions, written of reply of which are awaited.

Meanwhile, despite several attempts contacts were not made with Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhrial while questions had been sent to his office to reply to this development in Odisha but the HRD Minister’s Office yet to reply while UGC has started probe. The www.indianewsdiary.com  has been following all illegal work of KIIT and two of its sister concerns, KIMS and KISS since CBI registered cases over MCI approval for MBBS admission in KIMS.

Here are questions put for UGC Chiarman, Prof DP Singh to reply

  1. As to Why UGC granted Institute of Excellence Status in August, 2019, despite KIIT lacking the basic criteria set by the Union HRD Ministry.
  2. What action has been taken so far against KIIT University by UGC after the HRD Ministry Notice.
  3. Knowing well that Dr Samant, the founder of KIIT, was earlier caught by CBI, for fraudulent means for MCI approval for his KIMS and Dr Samanta himself was a former Member of UGC, how UGC granted the status.
  4. What will be the next move of the UGC on KIIT.

Besides, UGC, www.indianewsdiary.com had sent an email putting 4 questions to answer by the office of Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhrial. Questioners have been sent to B V R C Purushottam, Private Secretary to Union HRD Minister.

Here are questions put for Union HRD Minister’s office reply.

1.      As to Why UGC granted Institute of Excellence Status in August,

2019, despite KIIT lacking the basic criteria set by the Union HRD

Ministry.

2.      What action has been taken so far against UGC, KIIT University by the HRD Ministry

3.      Knowing well that Dr Samant, the founder of KIIT, was earlier caught by CBI, for fraudulent means for MCI approval for his KIMS and

Dr Samanta himself was a former Member of UGC, how UGC granted the status

4.      What will be the next move of the HRD Ministry

The HRD Ministry had reportedly asked UGC to reply as to why ‘Institution of Eminence’ Status given to Bhubaneswar based KIIT deemed to be University, founded by BJD Lok Sabha MP Dr Samanta despite lacking adequate merit for the status. Office of Registrar and Vice-Chancellor of KIIT not responded calls from www.indianewsdiary.com despite several attempts. The scheme first ran into controversy in July 2018, with the selection of Reliance Foundation’s non-existent Jio Institute among India’s first six IoEs (three public and three private). KIIT officials said it is a Government matter. PR department officials of KIIT not responded to this.

Media reports says, according to the UGC’s regulations on the IoE scheme, the sponsoring organisation is a “charitable or a not-for-profit Society or a public Trust or a Company incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013” applying to upgrade an existing private institution or a new one to an IoE.The eligibility criterion states the collective net worth of the members of the sponsoring organisation should be Rs 3,000 crore for existing institutions and Rs 5,000 crore for new ones.

The IoE scheme, a brain child of the Prime Minister’s Office and special move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi , which was launched under the NDA-II Government, is aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutes to emerge as world-class institutions.

The IoEs are proposed to have greater autonomy, including on deciding the fee, and course duration and structure. Their academic collaboration with foreign institutions will also be exempt from approvals. The 10 government institutions, in addition to autonomy, will get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry.

However, the application KIIT show that both have provided the market value of current assets, such as land and building, as the net worth of the sponsoring organisation.The above eligibility clause was at the source of a lot of heartburn among many private higher education institutions as it had left them out of the application process.

Dr Samanta and his KIIT had earlier came under scanner of CBI for faking documents, man power and infrastructure support to get MCI approval for MBBS admission in KIMS 10 years back, now with HRD Ministry asking UGC, in which Dr Samanta had earlier as a Member before being elected a Lok Sabha MP from Odisha’s Kandhamal in last 2019 Parliamentary polls.

Sources said, after media reports, particularly, several reports that published in New Delhi based ‘The Indian Express’, HRD Ministry took serious note of another major scam of KIIT University and has sought an explanation from UGC on whether the KIIT University  in Bhubaneswar in Odisha and Vellore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu are eligible for the ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE) status.On August 2, 2019, UGC had declared KIIT and VITas IoEs despite not meeting the eligibility criterion on the net worth of the sponsoring organisation members.

N Gopalaswami, Head of the expert committee that recommended names of institutes for IoE status, told to The Indian Express , “As EEC (Empowered Expert Committee), we are not involved in this (checking eligibility). It was the government which sent us the names in the first instance (stating) that these (institutions) are fulfilling the (eligibility) criteria. We were given a list of institutions that fulfil the criteria and we were to make a selection out of that. Our position is very clear.”“If in forwarding (the list) to us, there has been some lacunae, it’s for them (UGC and Ministry) to look at it and take a view on what is to be done,” he said.

KIIT’s application pegs the net worth of its four-member sponsoring organisation, KIIT Society, at Rs 10,000 crore. “The society is a non-profit organisation. The net-worth of individual members of the society do not contribute towards financing the Deemed to be university. Net worth of the organisation is around (Rs) 10,000 crores,” the application, said according to The Indian Express report. It then lists the value of KIIT Society’s cash in hand, bank balance, investment in fixed deposits, loans and advances, land and building, among other things, in the net worth statement.

It may be noted here that near about 10 years back, CBI had came to know about KIIT empire’s illegal business but off late , CBI had registered a case against sitting BJD Lok Sabha MP from Kandhamal Dr Achyut Samant. But nothing has happened yet.

Dr Samant was at that time Member of University Grant Commission, as a result of which, Medical Council of India had derecognised its MBBS course for two years in KIIT University run Kalinga Institute of Medical Science(KIMS).

MCI had debarred the KIMS in Bhubaneswar from running MBBS course for year 2012-13 and 2012-14 because of the allegations levelled against the Institute by the CBI.

The CBI had charged KIMS officials, including its then principal Bhagabati Charan Das, of party to a massive forgery to give an impression – at least on documents – that the Institute met the criteria for running an MBBS programme in 2010.

 KIIT and KIMS had paid hefty amount to the medicos to masquerade as KIMS doctors. CBI had charge sheeted KIMS Dean Cum Principal BC Das, Secretary Dr Samant, APO Debasish Debata and Deputy CEO Dilip Kumar Panda. Cases were registered under sections 120(B), 420(Cheating), 468(Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(using forged documents as genuine) and 176 of IPC

KIMS is affiliated to the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University (KIIT), which was founded by Dr Samanta. The CBI had also chargesheeted Samanta, accusing him of cheating and forgery.

After the CBI case, the Naveen Patnaik Government had suspended seven doctors for faking as employees of KIMS to save it from MCI de-recognition.

The suspended doctors were suspended at that time including Bablu Tudu(posted at Badampahad in Mayurbhanj, JP Behera(Bhawanipatna District Headquarters’ Hospitals), AS Pal(Madhupur, Kalahandi, Manoranjan Panigrahi(Police Hospital, Bhawanipatna), Jagannath Hansda(Gadia, Mayurbhanj), JR Pradhan(Rangamatia, Mayurbhanj and Sanjay Kumar Sahoo(Muribahal in Balangir) under the Odisha Civil Services(Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules , 1962.

Under scanner former Supreme Court judge, Justice IM Quddusi during his term with Odisha High Court downplayed several cases against Dr Achyut Samanta led KIIT and KIMS.  Many writ petitions from Dr Achyuta led organizations are allowed which has raised millions of questions.Justice Quddui;s son Raghat Quddusi’s love.com film was shooting in different places of KIIT and Kalinga group of institutions few years back.

A RTI activist demanded the review of all the judgements declared during Qudussi’s time  in Achyuta Samanta related matters. He added, ‘transparency is key to justice. After arrest of Justice Quddusi by CBI on graft charges, his verdicts now are suspected’. Leading  RTI activists have said, ‘the allegation is serious. they have been questioning illegality of Dr Samanta since past several years.

It is to be noted that information revealed through RTI that Dr Samanta led organizations run without approval from environmental authority. Further, National Green Tribunal(NGT) had directed to restore the pristine conditions of forest which is under illegal possession of his organizations.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here