Sources said during review of the 2014 agreement, it was found that in section 12 on mutual recognition/equivalence of qualification, there is a reference to Memorandum of Understanding signed between TEC and Association of Indian Universities. AIU is involved in giving equivalence and recognition to foreign degrees.
The agreement was signed in November last year when then HRD minister MM Pallam Raju went to Mauritius along with UGC chairperson Ved Prakash and others. At that point, Raju was not attending office in Delhi as he was protesting formation of Telangana. No official of AIU was part of the delegation. Yet, an agreement was signed. Now it has been found that AIU-TEC agreement does not consist of signature of officials of both countries. "It seems documents were signed separately and exchanged later," a source said. Later, in January 2014, UGC and TEC signed the agreement.
What is even more worrying is that AIU and TEC had signed an agreement for five years in 2010. "The agreement should have been renewed in 2015 but for reasons not known, the two sides signed a new one at the end of the third year. It raises serious questions about intent behind the agreement," a source in TEC said.
Sources in Mauritius, UGC and AIU say that a lot that has been done since last year to help Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) owned by Sunil Jeetah, brother of Rajesh Jeetah, minister of tertiary education, science research in Mauritius. EIILM is a private Indian university based in Sikkim. Sources say when EIILM's offshore campus was set up in 2007, UGC had sent a letter that it was not a recognized institute. "TEC did not abide by the UGC letter as well as TEC-UGC agreement of 2007 and EIILM was allowed to continue. In fact, in September 2013 UGC asked EIILM to close down its Mauritius campus," a senior TEC official said.
But after the AIU-TEC agreement of November last year and UGC-TEC agreement of 2014, TEC official said, something "ridiculous happened." On June 3, TEC listed a number of institutions, mostly off-shore campuses of Indian institutes including EIILM, who were not allowed to admit students this year. On June 11, TEC through a general statement said awards from all institutions recognized and all programmes accredited by the TEC are recognized. But this recognition is confined to Mauritius.
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