Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalithaa Fisheries University: Admission scam invites gov't probe

Sources allege that accountability for such blatant irregularities must be fixed at the topmost level
This is the admissions scam | (Pic: EdexLive)
This is the admissions scam | (Pic: EdexLive)

A massive scam has been unearthed at the Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalithaa Fisheries University as ineligible candidates have been given admission to undergraduate (UG) courses even as many students on the waiting list were denied admission for the academic year 2022-23, Students who scored way below the cut-off marks were given admission while the meritorious ones were sidelined, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

The issue came to the fore after a private complaint was lodged a fortnight back, following which, the university launched an internal inquiry. The state government has also ordered a parallel probe by the commissioner of fisheries.

The New Indian Express has details of at least two students who bagged admission despite scoring below the cut-off. The official waiting list data shows there are 28 MBC/DNC (Most Backward Classes/Denotified Community) students who scored 190 to 186 marks and there are 44 BC (Backward Classes) quota students who scored 190 to 187 marks.

For example, these students...
A student (name withheld) scored 127 marks against the cut-off score of 190 for the Bachelor of Fisheries Science (BFSc) course. The university gave him admission to MGR Fisheries College and Research Institute in Thalainayeru in Nagapattinam under MBC/DNC government quota. The student is not even eligible for the BFSc (self-finance) seat, where the cut-off is 158.  

Similarly, another student, who scored 149 marks, was given admission to the Bachelor of Fisheries Science (BFSc) course at MGR Fisheries College and Research Institute in Thalainayeru in Nagapattinam under the BC quota. The provisional admission cards for both students were undersigned by P Jawahar,  Chairman of the UG admission committee, who is also the Controller of Examinations (CoE).

Sources allege that accountability for such blatant irregularities must be fixed at the topmost level. CoE finalises the list only after getting approval from the vice-chancellor. "However, to save themselves, a lower level staff member was suspended by the university, making it a case of an oversight," a source said.   

Inquiry on
Fisheries University Vice-Chancellor G Sugumar didn't respond to The New Indian Express' calls. When contacted, Registrar N Felix said the university has already ordered an internal inquiry to verify how many more such admissions were obtained. "An inquiry committee has been formed. It came to our knowledge in the last week of May. To know where the mistake has happened, we have to wait for the committee report."

A Karthik, Principal Secretary, Fisheries Department, confirmed to The New Indian Express that complaints were received about irregularities in student admissions. "I have asked the commissioner of fisheries to inquire and submit a report within three weeks. We received information about two students. Necessary action will be taken based on the commissioner's report."

A senior official at the fisheries university told The New Indian Express that both inquiries are just an eyewash. Such alleged cash-for-seat admissions have been happening for at least three to four years.

"More than 20-25 students were given admission in violation of norms at Thalainairu, Ponneri and Thoothukudi fisheries colleges. The university's internal inquiry is headed by an in-charge officer, who can't carry out an impartial probe. The government should constitute an inquiry committee with board members and retired deans, who will dig deep into the issue. Otherwise, the entire scam will be quietly hushed-up," they shared.

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