Friday, 13 September 2013 09:00

RCP demands enquiry on EIILM

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RCP demands enquiry on EIILM

The EIILM (Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management) is under further scrutiny. After the Vice chancellor OV Vijayan and two of its top university officials were arrested in May 2013 on charges of cheating and forgery of documents, the University Grants Commission of India has now ordered the academic institution to cease the delivery of courses outside its main campus, in India and offshore.
The EIILM also has a branch in Mauritius and is under the care of Jeetah Trust, of which the Minister of Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr Rajesh Jeetah was until recently a trustee.

Therefore, under the current directives of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Ebène branch in Mauritius should also stop all its operations an academic institution. However, Minister Jeetah claims that the Mauritian branch is not under the jurisdiction of the UGC as it is being funded through other means, i.e., by the Jeetah Trust.

The Ralliement Citoyen pour la Patrie (RCP) believes that Minister Jeetah is misleading everyone and above all, the current students of the EIILM.

There are different types of tertiary institutions. An independent college can be accredited by a University as a course provider. Thus, students of the college will follow the course structure and sit exams provided and approved by the same University. The procedures and policies are imposed through accreditation. Certificates are also awarded on behalf of the University and not the college.

Another type of education provider is when a University has several colleges with specific faculties attached to each institution. This is the case of EIILM, University of Sikkhim. The name clearly states that it is a faculty of Management.Therefore, it cannot be called the EIILM University as it is part of University of Sikkhim. The name in itself is misleading.

Since the EILLM is part of the University of Sikkhim, which is governed by the rules and regulation of the University Grants Commission of India, then the Mauritian branch of the EILLM is, de facto, under the same legal impositions. What this means is that the Mauritian branch of the EIILM should also cease all its operations as it is not an independent college.

Sources close to the RCP have revealed that the EIILM was not authorised to set up a branch in Mauritius. Therefore, the University of Sikkhim cannot award degrees to students studying in the Ebène campus. By the same token, the argument by Sunil Jeetah, another trustee that the Mauritian branch is ‘not an Offshore Campus nor a Franchisee Centre but simply a branch campus’, is not null and void. The UGCE has ordered a closure of all the EIILM campuses outside the State of Sikkhim, onshore or offshore for major breaches of their agreement with the UGC. This applies to the Mauritian branch as well.

The Ralliement Citoyen pour la Patrie would like an independent enquiry, led by a judge or an ex-judge of the Supreme Court of Mauritius to establish the following facts:

• Why was the title University awarded to an Institution which is already affiliated to another University? The Mauritian branch is set in one building, with only one faculty and does not have any research centre.

• How the EIILM project evolved since it was first submitted to BOI and who was in charge of granting the permit to operate.

• The progression of ex-students of EILM, especially in the government service, based on the fact that none of them holds a valid university degree. The certificates were not legitimately awarded from the University of Sikkhim.

• 4. The validatiy of certifcates previously awarded by the Mauritian branch
It is important to have these questions answered. The victims of the EIILM are the students, who have paid hefty sums of money to obtain a degree, as well as the lecturers who face losing their jobs.
In the meantime, the Ralliement Citoyen pour la Patrie calls for the resignation of Minister Jeetah as he is clearly involved in illegal activities linked to the EIILM and the University of Sikkhim.

Shabana Raman
Secretary-General (Ralliement Citoyen pour la Patrie)

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