Meghalaya's CMJ University in Shillong, North-EastIndia, has been asked to suspend its PhD awards amid fears that they have been illegally or improperly obtained.
An investigation into the running of the college was launched after neighbouring state Assam raised questions over its degree awards. Senior officials questioned how the college could have awarded 434 doctorates this year when it only has 10 PhDs among its teaching staff.
Suspicions were fuelled when an advertisement appeared which said doctorates, masters degrees and MBAs were available from a dental surgery in nearby Panchkula.
RS Mooshahary, the governor of Meghalaya, said all degrees from the university should be suspended and admissions suspended until he has approved the appointment of a new chancellor.
The row could threaten the places of 3,300 students whose enrolment may be illegal, the governor said.
A spokesman for Shillong Police confirmed it was investigating the university over its doctorates and that the inquiry was focusing on the role of academics.
“We have fed a case against the university and will be seeking records from the university. We have questioned few officials from the university and the investigations are underway. No arrests have been made so far but we may involve some academics in the probe,” he said.
The University was established in 2009 as a private institution but the Governor of Meghalaya said it has enrolled students and awarded degrees in breach of India’s Universities Grants Commission’s minimum standards rules.
"OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
PRESIDENTMICHELAWARDEDHONORARYDOCTORATEBY TERI UNIVERSITY
The Chancellor of TERI University and Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Dr RK Pachauri, has conferred an honoraryDoctoratein Philosophy on PresidentJamesMichel, who is also Chancellor of the University of Seychelles, at a convocation ceremony at TERI University in Delhi this week.
Dr Pachauriawardedthe honorary degree ‘in view of PresidentMichel’s contribution to society,’ particularly as an ardent advocate of the cause of small island states and the preservation of the environment.
“The TERI University expresses deep respect for PresidentMichel’s leadership in the fields of environment and his efforts to foster sustainable development, by conferring onJamesAlixMichel, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy,honoris causa,” said the Registrar of TERI Univeristy, Dr Rajiv Seth.
Honorary doctorates were alsoawardedto the Former President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, the Minister of Environment and Minister of Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Norway, Erik Solheim, Nobel laureate Dr Elinor Ostrom,and Group General Manager and Country Head of the HSBC Group in India, Naina LalKidwai. Upon receiving the academic honor, PresidentJamesMicheldedicated the honorarydoctorateto the people of Seychelles.
“I am deeply honoured that this distinguished university has chosen to confer an honorarydoctorateon me today, and I dedicate my acceptance of this prestigious award to the people of Seychelles.... Today’s occasion is one of special significance and pride, as it both acknowledges and enhances the long-standing cordial relationship the Republic of Seychelles enjoys with the Republic of India, “ said PresidentMichelin his acceptance speech.
The President noted that TERI University and the University of Seychelles andhave been built upon the same vision that seeks answers to today’s local and global problems of climate change, sustainable development, governance and energy independence.
“We recognize today that without such institutions we will not be able to understand the changes that are happening and also not avail of the opportunity for us to address those challenges within our own context and constraints. Expanding our knowledge on climate change science will help us to better understand the dynamics of the ocean that we share.”
The President said that the collaboration between the two universities will also help to build capacity for renewable energy development in Seychelles.
“Our vision to transform the Seychelles energy sector stands firm, and for it to be a reality we need well-trained specialists in the area of energy management, innovation and planning.”
·During TERI University’s Fourth Convocation ceremony, 9 students were conferred doctoral degrees and 157 students wereawardedmaster's degrees.
·An honorary degree or a degreehonoris causa(Latin: "for the sake of the honor") is an academic degree that is conferred as a way of honoring a distinguished visitor's contributions to a specific field, or to society in general."