Fraud On The Campus

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Unqualified man, relative of two Vice-Chancellors is Director, Department of Information Technology & Support System (ITSS) of University of Kashmir for last five years, KU management throws rulebook to the winds 

You would have watched the Bollywood blockbuster Munna Bhai MBBS. The University of Kashmir has recreated it with the title Maroof Qadri Ph.D. For accommodating a close relative of two former vice-chancellors, the Kashmir University rulebook was thrown to the winds.

At the University of Kashmir, the minimum eligibility for a contractual lecturer is Masters’s with NET/SET/Ph.D. In the same university, Maroof Naiem Qadri – a graduate whose marks are still a mystery – has been serving as Director Department of Information Technology & Support System (ITSS) since the last five years without any rotation. His salary? More than Rs 1 lakh per month plus other amenities.

Qadri, the close relative of two former vice-chancellors, did B.E from Bangalore University with a mystery percentage. As per the RTI response number F(RTI-Scient-B), Adm/TW Dated 09-05-2012 provided by Assistant Registrar, Public Information Office, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, the university did not provide the B.E. aggregate marks percentage of marks of Maroof Naeim Qadri which put a question mark on his bachelor’s degree also. In addition to a B.E. degree, Qadri holds a Master’s Degree in Management (Executive MBA). This MBA degree does not fulfill the minimum standards of the award of degree as per UGC regulations. This is why the said degree was nullified by the Supreme Court of India.

The result – Qadri does not have even the basic qualification for his post.

Qadri’s Sham Qualification

After B.E, Qadri pursued a joint Online Executive MBA in IT Management from U21 Global University and IGNOU. In 2015, following a Supreme Court order, IGNOU scrapped more than 400 programs, including Executive MBA in IT Management. According to the court order, these expensive courses were violating UGC rules. Also, they had been fraudulently signed in an MoU between a former VC of IGNOU and some foreign universities.

Since the course was scrapped, Qadri’s Masters’s Degree became invalid. With an invalid Masters’s Degree, Qadri took the admission for a Ph.D. in the Computer Science Department of the University of Kashmir, Hazratbal, Srinagar.

The Departmental Research Committee (DRC) first rejected Qadri’s Ph.D. admission. After some days, the admission was accepted and Qadri was allowed to pursue his Ph.D. in Computer Science for reasons best known to the DRC members. So who verified Qadri’s certificates for Ph.D.? Which committee gave him academic clearance for the purpose of submitting his final thesis?

Director with Forged Degree

This was the beginning of a big scandal. When Qadri was in the 4th year of Ph.D., some scholars from the Computer Science Department got to know of his fraudulent admission to the course. They wrote to then Dean Research, Zafar Ahmad Reshi, and demanded action against Qadri. No action was taken.

After the scholars’ complaint, Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) President Dr Muheet Butt filed a complaint with the registrar. He requested that the charges against Qadri must be investigated before his PhD viva voce. Then Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) president approached the High Court regarding the matter. The case is still pending as the university did not file its response, thus delaying justice.

Even after multiple complaints, no inquiry took place. No equivalence committee was constituted to examine the case. The viva voce was conducted. Within a few days, Graduate Maroof Naiem Qadri illegally became Dr Maroof Naiem Qadri, in addition to the Director Information Technology at Kashmir University. He is still deceiving people with this fake identity.

Following an RTI application filed regarding this case, IGNOU responded in November 2017 that the online program of Executive MBA in IT Management is not eligible for computer Science PhD.

For some time, let us assume that Qadri’s EMBA in IT Management is a valid degree. Despite this, he is technically not eligible for Computer Science PhD because of the duration, mode, eligibility and equivalence of Online EMBA.

On the Point of Duration

The Executive MBA done by Qadri was an 18 Month Program. According to UGC Minimum Standards of Instruction for Grant of the Master’s Degree through Formal Education, Regulations, 2003, “No student shall be eligible for the award of the Master’s Degree unless he/she has successfully completed a minimum of two years after the first degree or five years (integrated course) after Plus Two or earned the minimum number of credits prescribed by the university for the program”. It is on record that many students who completed their Masters from foreign universities with duration of less than two years were denied admission to the University of Kashmir for higher studies. They were denied on the ground of regulations because they did not have high connections in the university like Maroof Qadri.

Mode of Course

This program was conducted by U21 Global University through online mode for the first 12 months. It was followed by a six-month program from IGNOU, again in online mode. An order issued by UGC on October 6, 2016 stated: “No Online Program leading to the award of the degree shall be offered by the university until a policy is framed and approved by UGC in this regard”.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the online Program EMBA in IT Management was Bachelor’s Degree or simple 10+2 with six years of experience. This means that anyone who had passed Class 12 could do this program by skipping graduation, and could call himself a post-graduate student.

Equivalence of Degree

Having the word ‘IT’ in the certification degree does not make it a degree for Information Technology or Computer Science. Computer science is the study stream related to computers and computing. An Executive MBA in IT Management is a program related to managerial skills, mostly undertaken by working professionals. A total of 26 courses are offered for the MCA/MTech in Computer Science by the University of Kashmir and 14 courses are offered at EMBA in IT Management. Out of these 14 courses, no course matches the course content of MCA/M.Tech at Kashmir University.

A total of 27 courses are offered for MBA (IT) in KU. Out of these, only one course matches with the syllabus for EMBA.

As per the university notification number: F(M.Phil/PhD.Int.dip/ACAD/KU/08), the candidates registered for admission to M.Phil/Ph.D. The program shall be awarded a degree in the subject in which he/she has completed his/her Master’s Degree which was issued on March 04, 2008. This shows that students of EMBA in IT Management cannot pursue Ph.D. in computer science. EMBA is a course in the Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies. MCA/M.Tech/MS is a course in the Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Engineering.

The University of Kashmir has an equivalence committee to grant equivalence to courses and examinations of other universities. The committee consists of the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean of all the Faculties of the University, one principle of constitution nominated by the Vice-chancellor by rotation, and the Registrar. The committee meets on the direction of the Vice-Chancellor. As per equivalence regulations of the University of Kashmir, more than 70 percent of subjects belonging to two courses for which equivalence regulations have to be established should have a clear match. The online EMBA (IT) degree from IGNOU is neither equivalent to MCA/M.Tech/MS nor equivalent to MBA (IT) offered by the University of Kashmir. For Maroof Qadri, no equivalence committee was constituted even when Vice-Chancellor Andrabi had formally agreed with the Kashmir University Teachers association to constitute one in the said case.

For the University of Kashmir, were these straight points too hard to verify, or too tough to understand?

No rotation

According to university norms, rotation of every Director/in-charge Director should take place after three years. Mr. Maroof Qadri has been the in-charge director of the Department of Information Technology & Support System (ITSS) for five years without any rotation. Why? No authority in the university is ready to answer this question.

Top University Management Passes The Buck

Responding to these queries, former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Khursheed Andrabi said, “The degree was considered valid by IGNOU.” This is a blatant lie. In the response to the RTI, IGNOU had stated that the degree was not suitable to pursue Ph.D. in Computer Science.

How was Maroof Qadri eligible for Ph.D. in Computer Science? Dr. Andrabi replied that the decision was taken by a committee headed by Dean Research Zafar Ahmad Reshi. When questioned by KZINE in this regard, Zafar Reshi said, “I was not a member of any committee. I cannot reveal what was in the file. I had nothing to do with the admission process. I was concerned with research quality. During my time, Maroof was already registered as a Ph.D. student.”

Former Registrar KU Khurshid Ahmad Butt said, “I have never seen the file. Researchers don’t come under the purview of the Registrar. I saw the representation against Qadri and gave my opinion that we should constitute a committee.” The then Head, Department of Computer Science, University of Kashmir, and Chairman, Departmental Research Committee (DRC) Prof SMK Quadri denied to comment on the case. “I don’t remember anything now,” he said. The other DRC members were also contacted. They too refused to comment.

Maroof Qadri did not respond to initial calls. When he finally took the call, he told the KZINE correspondent, “Call me at 2 pm.” When contacted repeatedly at that time, he did not answer the call.

Con, Deceit at KU

Every individual at a powerful position at the University of Kashmir knows about Qadri’s fraudulent appointment as Director ITSS, and how he got his two degrees. What example is the University of Kashmir setting before successive batches of students? That this is how the systems in the University of Kashmir work? That this is the professional conduct of some of the most educated, eminent faculty members of KU?

Who is accountable for this scam? Who is answerable to lakhs of students who place their trust in the university? With con and deceit at the top rung of the Department of Information Technology & Support System (ITSS), how does the university place trust in the vital IT system, admissions, registration, and examination-related activities? Why has the KU management chosen complete silence on this issue? Are they party to this scam? Why hasn’t this case been reported to the Anti Corruption Bureau, Jammu, and Kashmir? There are no answers.

Maroof Qadri’s Real Bio-Data 
The two former KU Vice-Chancellors to whom Maroof Qadri is related are Prof MY Qadri and Dr Khursheed Andrabi. Prof Qadri is Maroof Qadri’s paternal uncle. Prof Andrabi is the husband of Maroof Qadri’s maternal cousin 

Vice-Chancellor Dr Talat Ahmad Promised Rotation of Heads of Departments

A meeting of KUTA Presidium led by its President, Dr. Muheet Ahmed Butt was held with Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad on June 29, 2019. The memorandum regarding pending issues of the teaching faculty of the university was submitted to the Vice-Chancellor. The following resolutions were adopted. Point 15 and 16 were as follows:
*Term of Heads/Coordinators of various departments will be fixed for a period of three years and rotated among other eligible faculty members of the department/center on the basis of their seniority. This will also apply to the position of Directors of all Directorates/Centres including Directorate of IT&SS.
*Equivalence of EMBAIT certificate course to a postgraduate degree will be established by the equivalence committee of the university
The document was signed by Dr Tanveer A Shah, Special Secretary to VC on behalf of the VC, and Dr M Ishaq Geer, General Secretary KUTA, on behalf of KUTA, on July 1.

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