B. Ed. scam: University begins attendance crackdown

Updated: Mar 05, 2020, 07:23 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

In move that will be implemented across the state, a committee of professors will head the monitoring panel

Aristo Academy operates from inside Ahire Classes opposite the university in Kalina. Pic/ Shadab Khan
Aristo Academy operates from inside Ahire Classes opposite the university in Kalina. Pic/ Shadab Khan

Following mid-day's reporting of the B. Ed. degree scam, the Mumbai University has formed a committee to investigate the matter. Members of the committee belong to different colleges across the city and neighbouring areas and will conduct a fair probe into the scam, Dr Vinod Patil, director of Board of Examination and Evaluation told mid-day.

The University has vowed to put an end to the practice of no attendance in regular courses since this has given a freehand to affiliated colleges to manipulate their attendance. It is the reason touts like Aristo Academy, Fusion Science Classes, Career Academy and Indian Institute of Skills Training are flourishing. They lure candidates to seek admission in two-year B. Ed. courses without making attendance mandatory.

"After the series of reports published in mid-day, we have formed a committee to probe into the system. There are more than 60 B. Ed. colleges affiliated with the Mumbai University. We have vowed to sensitise all these colleges to ensure that no such malpractice in our regular course like Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) is encouraged," Dr Patil told mid-day.

Sunil Fonseca, proprietor of Aristo Academy in Kalina, with a Mumbai University mark sheet
Sunil Fonseca, proprietor of Aristo Academy in Kalina, with a Mumbai University mark sheet

"Strict action will be taken against the colleges and students found involved in any malpractice. We have in the past too eliminated the name of Irene Institute of Education, Kalyan, from the list of our examination centres for helping a candidate procure a B. Ed. degree. The student had found indulging in malpractice and had not attended her fourth semester exam. Her previous three semesters were, therefore, declared null and void. Her degree was cancelled and she was barred from seeking admission for three years in any university," added Dr Patil.

Teams to inspect colleges
The probe committee now formed to investigate the matter will have academicians from different B. Ed. colleges in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. A team will also conduct surprise checks across colleges to check the students' attendance and the absentees will be asked to submit their medical certificates if needed.

"The medical certificate will also be put under the scanner if required," a source said.

Sources at the Mantralaya told mid-day that after media reports, the state's Higher and Technical Education ministry sent a letter to the Mumbai University inquiring about the illegal B. Ed. degrees.

Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said, "We have called for a meeting of secretary, joint secretary, director of an education ministry, senior academicians of Mumbai University on March 12 to discuss the scam. Senior administrative officials of the state government will also be present at the meeting." He added, "All the corrupt officials will be dealt with an iron hand and the shops of all touts will be shut."

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