World | Asia

July 06, 2014

More Missing Links Emerge in Mauritius Education Agreement

NEW DELHI: As international cooperation goes, a history was created last November when Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) of Mauritius and Association of Indian Universities (AIU) signed an agreement. The venue was Mauritian capital of Port Louis but the Indian signatory was not present there. He was somewhere in India.

The Indian delegation consisting of then HRD minister MM Pallam Raju, senior HRD and UGC officials came up with a novel method. After the TEC representative signed, the last page of the agreement was scanned and sent to an AIU official who was not even in Delhi. He was asked to sign the agreement, scan it again and mail it back.

The TEC-AIU agreement and subsequent agreement between UGC and TEC in January this year have become a riddle as more and more layers are coming out in the open. Though the UGC had referred only the UGC-TEC agreement to the HRD ministry for examination, a comprehensive look at both of them revealed many missing links and a possible scam. Within the ministry there is a pale of silence as officials refuse to talk about the agreement. Show cause notice that was being sent to UGC chairperson Ved Prakash has been put on hold but there is a likelihood of he being asked to proceed on leave.

One, why was an AIU official sitting in India forced to sign an agreement which none in Pallam Raju's delegation could sign on behalf of AIU. One AIU official asks, "We were not even shown the entire agreement but only the last page. We do not even know if the idea to sign an agreement came up in Mauritius or was pre-planned. Then why no one from AIU was made part of the delegation? Why did HRD ministry did not object to the manner in which signing was done? What was the push factor for the agreement since the existing agreement was to expire only in 2015?"

Subsequently it became clear that TEC-AIU agreement was important for UGC. In January when a UGC delegation went to Mauritius it took a direct clearance from Pallam Raju instead of the ministry. The agreement between UGC-TEC made a mention of TEC-AIU agreement while talking about mutual recognition and equivalence of qualification between the two countries. However, AIU sources say the TEC-AIU agreement has nothing to do with mutual recognition and equivalence. "Then why was it referred to in the UGC-TEC agreement. Also why did UGC which for many years was forcefully telling Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management to close its Mauritian campus stopped sending directives after last September," the AIU official asks.

 

Text by The Times Of India
 

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