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Seat of sham at Magadh varsity

Gaya, May 24: Police raid on Magadh University today unearthed a “huge” volume of blank degree certificates, including those meant for MBBS and Ph.D scholars, original charts and tabulation registers. Police also arrested one person from the Baitarni area of this ancient town.

The incriminating and unaccounted documents were found in two private printing presses, both owned by relatives of university officials and employees. The university officer concerned, whose nephew owns one of the establishments, is said to be on a private visit to the USA.

The vigilance raid for the second successive day has taken the lid off an academic scandal of shocking proportions. The officer-on-special duty at the Patna Raj Bhavan, Krishna Kumar, told the media that evidence collected so far indicate tampering with tabulation registers, addition of new pages and handwritten pages attached to printed documents.

The team stumbled upon records of students declared to have passed the BEd examination but from colleges that do not exist. Answer scripts without names of the candidates were discovered by the team. A preliminary scrutiny revealed that students who had actually failed were declared to have been successful.

The list of successful candidates carried several entries with only roll numbers but with no names, indicating the strong possibility of inserting the names on a later date for extraneous considerations. The modus operandi, sources said, was to withhold results on flimsy grounds and negotiate with candidates to allot them marks.

Kumar, who had inspected the examination department, the library and the university press yesterday as well, described the findings as “unbelievable”. Glaring discrepancies had been found in the tabulation registers which were sent to the colleges and in the copies retained by the university office, he said.

No entry had been made in the registration sheets since the year 2001. The registration documents of even previous years were found to contain blank spaces, which would have allowed for tampering and manipulation in future.

Although MU has a printing press, it had outsourced the printing and binding of answer sheets. But Kumar was startled to find that the private contractors were using the university’s printing press to do the work and raising bills, as if they were doing the work outside. Blank bills, blank provisional certificates and examined answer books with blank covers were also confiscated during the raid.

Old and outdated books by foreign authors, published three decades ago, worth Rs 53 lakh were purchased for the MU library.

Fixing responsibility will, however, be tough, if not impossible, claimed Kumar, because of little documentation about the identity of the tabulators.

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