The ruling establishment of West Bengal has stepped up its policing of the education sector.
The Trinamool has sought an academic scrutiny of teachers in colleges and universities of West Bengal and demanded the exercise be started from Jadavpur University, where there were protests against the state government recently.
The teaching community at the university was in revolt against police action against a professor for e-mailing a picture spoof involving chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Union railway minister Mukul Roy.
This is the second major foray by the ruling formation into education, the first being one concerning the revision of the higher secondary history syllabus.
The Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) wrote to education minister Bratya Basu on Wednesday, demanding the audit begin in seven days.
The TMCP has asked the minister to focus on scrutinising PhD dissertations because it feels during the Left Front many had got away with poor doctoral work.
There are 14 state universities and about 420 government and government-aided colleges in West Bengal, with about 15,000 teachers. Jadavpur University has about 820 teachers, many of whom had joined protest meets and rallies after chemistry professor Ambikesh Mohapatra's arrest on April 12.
"We demand the audit would be external, which means nobody connected with a university would check the papers/qualifications of its professors. The government should scan whether the professors and heads of departments have the requisite qualifications," said TMCP president Sankudeb Panda.
"We have also found a serious flaw in the way PhDs were awarded during the Left Front regime," said Panda, who met Basu at the state secretariat.
Basu did not take calls or reply to SMS.
CPI(M) central committee member Mohammed Selim said: "Their top leader started with a fake doctorate degree, and many of the leaders followed suit. It is natural they would suspect foul play behind every PhD degree."
In the early eighties, the CPI(M) had alleged Banerjee, then a Congress MP, had claimed to have a PhD from a non-existent US university.