Varsities favoured by ex-IGNOU VC made Rs 1,600 cr

Two pvt carsities allegedly favoured by former IGNOU VC VN Rajasekharan Pillai earned nearly Rs 1,600 cr in 5 yrs by conducting distance programmes.

New Delhi: Two private universities allegedly favoured by former IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai earned nearly Rs 1,600 crore in five years by conducting distance learning programmes in violation of norms, the CBI has found.

CBI sources claimed that the agency recovered documents related to investments worth Rs two crore from Pillai`s premises during its searches.

They said the agency is trying to trace the money trail to establish whether there was any exchange of money to allow Punjab Technical University and Sikkim Manipal University to run distance learning courses.

Agency officials have already quizzed Pillai and the then officials of the two universities and further questioning might be conducted in the coming week, they said.

The CBI alleged that Sikkim Manipal University had made over Rs 400 crore while Punjab Technical University made over Rs 1,200 crore through these courses, which were being run in alleged violation of rules.
The agency claimed that although Pillai, being the head of the Distance Education Council (DEC), allowed them to run these courses, he was not the competent authority to give the nod.

The CBI sources, however, refused to give the names of the courses, saying it could hamper the future of enrolled students.

They said the agency has found that Pillai apparently ignored the advice of the joint committee of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Indira Gandhi National Open University and the UGC while granting the permission to start these courses in 2007.

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