One leader’s thesis quoted the name of the wrong author when she wrote about a literary work. Even her guide did not notice that. Plagiarism and lack of ‘substance’ are quite often alleged. Now, the latest issue is the alleged 3,000 errors in a DYFI leader’s PhD thesis. And interestingly, she is a Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) Member designate. Save University Campaign Committee (SUCC) has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the thesis, of serious errors, from the ‘Shodhganga’ website and it should undergo re-scrutiny. The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre provides a platform for research students to deposit their PhD theses and make them available to the entire scholarly community in open access.
SUCC has submitted a memorandum before the Vice Chancellor of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit demanding the cancellation of the ‘Dean’ status of the former Vice Chancellor Dharmaraj Adatt and the permanent debar of the evaluators from that assignment. The memorandum says it is a shame on the university which is named after Adi Sankaracharya when it approves a PhD thesis which shows the life period of Sankaracharya erroneously. It is believed that Adi Sankaracharya lived during eighth – ninth centuries whereas Princy’s thesis says, he lived in eighteenth – nineteenth centuries. SUCC alleges that Princy does not know the life period of Sankaracharya and the time when untouchability existed in the country. And, the 210 page thesis contains 3,000 grammatical and spelling errors. Plagiarism cannot be traced with the help of computer software, thanks to such a huge number of grammatical and spelling errors. Princy got PhD, in 2018, on ‘A comparative study of Vedic concepts of Shankaracharya and Chattambiswamy’ in 2018
SUCC has requested the State Governor Arif Mohammed Khan not to accept the recommendation to appoint Princy as the KPSC member.
SUCC further alleged that the research student prepared the thesis in English; but she lacks basic knowledge of English grammar. SUCC says that an experts’ panel appointed by them (SUCC) had opined that even though the student had passed MA in Sanskrit literature, herself and her guide Dharmaraj Adatt do not have the basic qualification to carry out research in Sanskrit Vedanta.
The thesis saying that Sankaracharya lived in eighth – ninth centuries and that the caste discrimination and untouchability started in mid-19th century had caused controversies much earlier.
Princy, a SFI leader, is a former students’ union chairman of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit. She has worked as the Ernakulam district president of DYFI. She had also served as the Youth Commission member when Chintha Jerome, another DYFI leader, was its chairperson. Jerome’s PhD thesis was controversial too. Her thesis quoted the name of a wrong author when she wrote about a literary work.
Even her guide did not notice that. She was drawing a salary of Rs 1 lakh per month as the chairperson of Youth Commission. Originally it was Rs 50,000. After drawing it for two years it was hiked to Rs 1 lakh. Even though she said, she had not written to the government for the hike, some channels had telecast the letter she allegedly wrote to the Principal Secretary demanding the salary hike. Hike was reported to have implemented with retrospective effect.
Reports suggest, Princy is going to get Rs 2.5 lakhs as a PSC member and will be entitled to have a pension package of Rs 1 lakh when she turns 38. It is also reported that it is first time a student-youth leader gets appointed to such a significant Constitutional position.
SUCC chairman R.S. Sasikumar and convener Shajer Khan alleged that the state government stands for politics-based appointments.
There are numerous allegations against SFI and DYFI leaders in connection with the manipulations in the academic matters. One leader reportedly passed the examinations which he had not even appeared for. When the controversy erupted, software system was blamed. Another leader faked an experience certificate, from the college where she studied, but never had taught, and got jobs in two colleges as guest lecturer based on the above certificate. Another comrade got MCom admission in the very same college where he studied BCom and failed. A DYFI leader was arrested for forging the NEET examination mark list for MBBS admission and for trying to cheat the court. SUCC alleged about a comrade who tried to get MA (English Literature) admission on sports quota after passing BCom.
In another words, a series of never-ending stories. God alone knows where is the end.