CHENNAI: At least 11 professors from government arts and science colleges have been caught with fake PhD certificates and placed under suspension, prompting the directorate of collegiate education (DCE) to order verification of all certificates submitted by faculty members across government colleges in the state.
Sources said the erring faculty members had submitted fake certificates from non-existent universities in Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Bihar.
The DCE, in an RTI reply, said departmental action had been initiated against the professors caught with fake PhD certificates recently
The recent bout of fake PhD certificate issue started when two assistant professors from the department of botany in Government Arts College in Ooty were held for producing fake education certificates in January this year. “One of them had produced a certificate in the name of Veer Ranveer University in Rajasthan and another member produced the certificate from Meghalaya — both are non-existent universities,” an official source said.
Some of the professors claimed that at least 50 more fake PhD-holding faculty could still be in the rolls of government and governmentaided colleges in the state.
“The DCE is lenient and is not taking strong action against the faculty members who produced fake certificates to get appointment as assistant professors. Even now, the suspended faculty members are receiving half their salary from the government,” they said. “Now, government-aided colleges are also affected by the fake certificates issue. The punishment is not severe. Those who submit fake certificates must be immediately suspended from service,” said N Pasupathy, president, Association of University Teachers (AUT).
“Most of the fake PhD certificates were generated in the name of universities in north India, and there is no mechanism to verify them. The authorities need to scrutinize the certificates during recruitment or immediately after recruitment,” he Said
Peers call for PhD certificate with QR code
A faculty member in Ponneri college was also found holding fake PhD certificate from Magadh University in Bihar last year. During the verification, the university has said it has not issued the PhD certificate to him. Faculty associations have demanded state and central governments to introduce QR code in PhD certificates to prevent this malpractice. “The University Grants Commission (UGC), in its National Eligibility Test
(NET) certificate, gives QR code. If the code is scanned, it will lead to the UGC’s website which will have the picture of candidate along with the score and exam details. Such a mechanism is necessary to prevent malpractices in PhD certificates as well,” said S Swaminathan, advisor of NET/SLET Association. Despite several attempts by TOI, R Sarumathi, director of collegiate education, was not available for comment.