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KU launches probe into IT Director’s EMBA-IT degree, writes to UGC

Srinagar, Oct 20: The Kashmir University (KU) authorities have launched a formal probe into the PG degree of its in-charge Director, Information Technology (IT) Department, Maroof Naeem Qadri, after complaints that the same was not in sync with UGC norms surfaced.

The University, on directions of the Vice Chancellor Dr. Neelofer Khan, has written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) in this regard.

As per an official letter available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the KU’s Deputy Registrar, Recruitment, has written to Secretary UGC, New Delhi, regarding Executive Masters of Business Administration in Information Technology Management (EMBA-IT) awarded by IGNOU to Maroof Qadri in 2012.

“A degree with nomenclature EMBA-IT has been awarded by IGNOU in 2012. The duration of the course is eighteen (18) months, copy enclosed,” reads the KU letter to UGC.

“I have been directed to request you to clarify whether the said degree can be considered as a Masters Degree as per UGC norms for the purpose of recruitment to the post of Registrar,” the letter dated July 10 of 2023 reads further.

Sources in the University said the UGC’s response to the letter is awaited and shall determine the fate of the official who is facing serious allegations of possessing a degree which can’t be considered as equivalent to a regular PG degree of minimum two years duration as mandated under UGC norms.

The KU’s letter to UGC has surfaced days after Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, raised a similar query regarding Maroof Naeem Qadri’s EMBA-IT, asking him to submit equivalence certificate of EMBA-IT with a Regular PG Degree for consideration as eligible for the post of Registrar, IUST.

Qadri is an applicant for posts of Registrar advertised by KU and IUST, and both Universities have raised a query which has put his parent University especially in dock.

Earlier, a few months ago the University of Kashmir had claimed that it had cross-checked Qadri’s academic credentials when allegations were widely reported in Press that he possessed EMBA-IT which is not equivalent to a Regular PG degree.

Sources said the KU has now itself negated the previous stance by writing to UGC, thus corraborating the need for a high level probe into the issue. Sources said if Qadri’s degree is considered inequivalent to Regular PG degree, it has far-reaching implications on the Ph.D degree awarded to him on the basis of EMBA-IT, which is done mostly in online mode.

“We are investigating the matter. Let’s see what the UGC says. Further action will be taken after that,” a top KU official told KNO, when asked about the status of the case.

Interestingly, the University itself has a well-established Academic Division headed by Dean Academic Affairs which grants equivalence certificates for various degrees and courses.

“This case was sent to the national regulatory body because KU itself has written to Raj Bhawan once that it has not granted any equivalence to the EMBA-IT degree,” said the official.

Sources said already some investigating agencies have sought reports about Qadri’s academic credentials, including marks cards which are under scanner. Qadri is presently looking after IT department of the University and is considered close to VCs, including two former VCs who were his close relatives.

His alleged proximity with top offices is said to be one of the reasons for laxity in serious probes into allegations surrounding his academic credentials. The University’s letter to UGC is set to spark demand for removal of the In-charge Director IT pending response from UGC, sources said—(KNO)

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