India’s premier institution for training elite athletes, National Institute of Sports Patiala, has an officer who has been promoted on a degree from a fake university. Call it coincidence, the officer will soon have family ties with Sports Authority of India (SAI) secretary Hira Ballabh.
SAI assistant director Dinesh Chandra Tiwari, who has a graduation degree from a fake university as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) list, has put the government’s sports body in an uncomfortable position.
Tiwari, who was promoted in March this year, is a 1988 commerce graduate from Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Jagatpuri (Delhi). It was during a routine departmental exercise that his degree from the fake university was highlighted by the SAI-appointed advocate, Mayank Yadav, while giving a legal opinion on the officer’s file.
Yadav had cautioned SAI that till the time Tiwari’s educational qualifications were established, which are at present doubtful, his name should not be forwarded for promotion. Otherwise, it might lead to problems for the organisation.
Another fact highlighted by Yadav that raised questions about the validity of the degree was that Tiwari, who joined SAI in 1982 as a lower division clerk (LDC), sought permission in September 1988 to appear for B.Com exams in 1988-89, but in the degree (a copy of which is with HT), he has been shown to have qualified in 1988. It was on the basis of this degree that Tiwari was elevated to the post of cashier. Now, on the basis of his seniority, Tiwari is now assistant director.
“If the fake university thing went unnoticed earlier, doesn’t mean you are going to ignore it now,” said an official of the personnel department. “It’s a case of showing undue favour and obliging your close relations.”
SAI secretary Ballabh, who was member of the departmental promotion committee (DPC), will soon have family ties with Tiwari as his brother’s daughter is getting married to Tiwari’s son. The then director, personnel, Manmeet Singh Goindi on an official noting dated January 8, 2015, with the subject “clearance from personnel division” had written, “The documents available in the personal file of DC Tiwari to his qualification seem to be doubtful.” Still, without getting a proper inquiry done, Tiwari’s name was forwarded and DPC cleared the name. When contacted, Ballabh said, “His seniority was there and the case for his promotion was referred only after getting the required clearances.”
Tiwari, when contacted, said, “I graduated way back in 1988-89. I don’t know the present status of the university vis-a-vis the UGC affiliation.” Tiwari kept stressing that he had completed his degree in 1988-89, while the document shows 1988. “It is not possible for a person to appear for exams one year late and get the degree a year in advance,” observed Yadav in his legal opinion.