Posted On Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 06:08:22 AM
This is a case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing. The doctorates (PhDs) and MPhil’s awarded by the director of the Institute of Advanced Studies in English (IASE) since the last four years may not be legitimate because there has been a serious violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.
The University of Pune (UoP) found out only recently that the IASE’s director and principal was the same man, which is in contravention of UGC rules.
This fact popped out after the university verified some IASE documents.It was found that the founder of IASE, Ashok Thorat, was signing in both as the director and principal.
The IASE, which is affiliated to Pune university, admits foreign as well as Indian students for various doctoral programmes in the English language.
Prof W N Gade, the director of the Board of College and University Development (BCUD), said that Thorat, the principal of IASE, should not have had done it, as it had been communicated to him in 2006 that the approval of the post of the IASE director had been annulled. “The university authorities should not have accepted the documents signed by Thorat as director,” he added.
According to UGC norms, a person cannot hold two posts in an institute or college providing higher education. Despite the university’s letter to Thorat, he continued to sign documents as director as well as principal of the institute.
Now, university officials have said that the doctorates and MPhil degrees of students of IASE will be discussed on an appropriate “platform” of the research and recognition (RR) committee and also before the special committee of BCUD.
Thorat, the former dean of faculty of English and head of the Department of English of Pune University, had recently won the varsity senate elections. He is now a member of the board of studies for English faculty.
The institute generally attracts foreign students, especially from the Middle East. Official sources said that the university must have awarded at least 100 PhDs to students of IASE. Now, these doctoral degrees are under a cloud, as they will have to be reviewed.
When contacted, Thorat said he was discussing the issue with the top brass of the university and BCUD officials and would not like to comment on the issue.
In the last four years, the university gave almost 100 doctorates to IASE students. As per UGC norms, in an institute of higher education one cannot hold two top posts. Also, Thorat was told in 2006 that the IASE director’s post had been annulled by the authorities
► It had been communicated to him in 2006 that the approval of the post of the IASE director had been annulled.
- Prof W N Gade, director, BCUD