India Tales: Babus turn school masters, MP univ gives PhDs without theses
If you think there is a disconnect between sarkari babus and the people they govern, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh has had an idea to dispel the notion.
Top bureaucrats in Chhattisgarh are leaving their air-conditioned offices and donning the mantle of teachers, after Singh instructed them to inspect schools and take classes.
Chief secretary Vivek Dhand started the teaching campaign from village Amleshwar in Durg district. Dhand taught statistics to Class 10 students at Amleshwar High School.
He also tested the English skills of the students and issued instructions for starting computer education at the school.
Dhand told the school principal to take students to the nearby ITI centre to apprise them about various skill development opportunities.
He also gave Rs 500 each to the students to motivate them to perform better. Maybe they'll all aspire to be bureaucrats now.
Getting a PhD degree is no child's play. But at Madhya Pradesh's Barkatullah University (BU), about 2,000 students have been declared eligible to receive their doctorates before the completion of their theses.
Even those who have just started their research have been issued certificates by the university. The certificates say these candidates have fulfilled UGC's PhD regulation criteria of 2009.
BU had implemented them in 2013, and PhD scholars at three levels were assigned course work as per these regulations.
According to the sources, the certificates were to mention whether the candidates had cleared their course work or not. But university officials declared all candidates eligible for the degree.
As per UGC guidelines, each candidate has to clear the entrance process of enrollment, fulfilling the provisions of the national reservation policy. The course work needs to be evaluated by the Research Advisory Committee. After that, the candidate has to submit the thesis before university officials. Publication of a research paper prior to submission of thesis is also mandatory to be eligible for PhD.
Dr KM Jain, former joint superintendent, Higher Education, agrees there was an error of omission.
"They have measured all candidates through one yardstick. The error must be rectified. The possibility of misuse of the issued certificates cannot be denied," he says.
BU authorities say they will correct the mistake. "We must first cross check the certificates issued to the students. We will rectify the errors, wherever necessary," says Prof. AK Pathak, caretaker V-C of the university.
Banks try hard to safeguard their ATMs. However, nothing was tough enough for a gang of brothers-in-law from Rajasthan, who turned ATM burglary into a big-time profession.
The Jodhpur police have arrested three members of this gang from Tinwari. Investigations so far suggest that the gang looted about 40 ATMs in the state.
It took the gang just 20 minutes to root out an ATM machine. Gang members would enter an ATM with helmets covering their heads and pretend to talk on their mobile phones to mislead the police.
They would uproot ATMs with the help of iron rods and screw drivers. Then, they would take the machines to a safe location and cut them open with a gas cutter. They distributed the money equally among themselves.
Interrogation of the accused - Banshiram, Bahadur and Shrinivas - revealed that the gang members would dump the stolen money in dried up wells of the area. Police have recovered five broken ATMs from the wells of Degana village.
According to reports, Banshiram and Bahadur have constructed a bungalow worth Rs 50 lakh thanks to the loot.
Police sources claim the gang has confessed to 20 cases of theft. Investigators hope the arrests would help them solve as many more cases of ATM robbery.
"It is a big gang. The arrest of the gang members could solve many such cases in other states as well. We have informed DGP about the matter," said Ashok Rathore, the commissioner of Jodhpur.
Three members of the gang are still at large.