VC of Ajmer's  MDS University asks for Rs2.2 lakh for allotting extra seats to private college, caught red-handed

Dr Ram Pal Singh was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati (MDS) University of Ajmer in October 2018 by the former BJP government in Rajasthan
Image for representational purpose (Pic: Google)
Image for representational purpose (Pic: Google)

Rajasthan's Anti Corruption Bureau has arrested the Vice-Chancellor of the MDS University in Ajmer, Dr Ram Pal Singh and two others in relation to a bribery case. Dr Singh had allegedly demanded a hefty bribe for allotment of additional seats and an examination centre from a private college affiliated to the university in Nagaur through middlemen Ranjit Singh and Mahipal Singh.

The ACB arrested the trio on Monday evening when it caught Ranjit red-handed accepting Rs 2.2 lakh in cash at the VC's official residence. Shockingly, middleman Ranjit Singh even had a room as his office in the VC secretariat without any locus standi.

Before the case exploded, the VC had been hosting a national webinar on the 'New Education Policy' in which President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also participated on Monday. The case has sent shock waves through the academic world in Rajasthan and exposed the deep rot prevailing in government universities.

The corrupt nexus was exposed by the ACB through a private college in Bhilwara which had sought affiliation in December 2018. In May 2020, the university after necessary inspections and formalities moved the case for granting temporary affiliation. Then, Ranjit Singh, the VC's alleged middleman, approached the college owner SK Bansal for a bribe of Rs 2 lakhs and even managed to arrange his meeting with the VC.

Bansal then complained to the ACB which was able to verify that the VC had made a demand of Rs 1 lakh and put the VC and his confidante Ranjit on surveillance. Eventually, the surveillance led the ACB to another bribery case involving a private College in Nagaur. On being tipped off about the deal, the ACB on Monday caught Ranjit red-handed taking Rs 2.2 lakh in cash and Rs 80 thousand through Google Pay from Mahipal Singh of the college in Nagaur at the VC's residence.

The DG of ACB, M N Dinesh talking to media in Ajmer on Tuesday remarked, "The bribe money was being taken at the residence of the Vice-Chancellor that's why he has been arrested. There was verification about the bribe complaint that was made to ACB three months ago. Through electronic surveillance, we have gathered a lot of evidence against the three accused. That is also being corroborated by their diaries and mobiles. We are questioning all of them in detail."

ACB officials said the file on the case for which bribe was being taken was found on the table of the Vice-Chancellor. The ACB has twice searched the VC's office and has confiscated several other files and documents from the VC's chamber. The ACB has also seized the mobile and laptops of not only the Vice-Chancellor but also his driver and security guards along with those of Ranjeet.

Dr Ram Pal Singh was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati (MDS) University of Ajmer in October 2018 by the former BJP government in Rajasthan. He was appointed just a few hours before the Election Commission of India announced the dates of the polls for Vidhan Sabha elections in the state. Prior to joining Ajmer University, Prof Singh had even worked as VC of another government university, JNV University in Jodhpur where too he had been appointed by Kalyan Singh, the former Governor of Rajasthan.

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