Fake placement row: SOA University not in AICTE approved list?

Bhubaneswar: As the controversy surrounding the fake placements at ITER College continues, its parent Siksha O Anusandhan (SOA) University’s name is missing from the approved list of institutions as shown on the website of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

As per the findings of Odisha Television (OTV), the approved institutions’ list under the statistics menu of the AICTE website has no records of SOA University. Surprisingly the deemed university list for the academic year 2015-16 and 2016-17 only features the name of one private institution in Odisha.

The AICTE approval is given based on factors like infrastructure, faculty strength, library, laboratory facilities. “An investigation should be launched how the university is conducting admissions and classes without permission or meeting all the criterion,” said educationist Pritish Acharya.

On the other hand addressing a press meet, police commissioner YB Khurania said fake webpages of the three companies- Huawei, Mitsubishi Electric, and Mecas- were used during the drive. “We are investigating the people who had organised and participated in recruitment drive. This cannot be the act of one individual and we are trying to find all those who are behind it,” Khurania added.

Police have also got some photographs related to the placement drive, he added.

Meanwhile, police have taken the associate dean (Placements) of ITER, RK Hota on two-day remand for interrogation. Police had moved the court seeking a 3-day remand of Hota, who was arrested in connection with the fake campus placements on Friday.

Political circles have also come into the picture to show solidarity with the students as the students’ wing of Odisha Congress demanded immediate arrest of Manoj Nayak, the trustee of SOA University and burnt effigies of chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Technical Education minister Usha Devi.

“ITER owner should be brought under the purview of investigation. Such a fiasco couldn’t have taken place without his knowledge. The Government is also involved in the fraud which may have prompted the CM to remain silent,” Chhatra Congress president Itish Pradhan said.

Refuting such allegations, BJD said the government is aware of the issue and taking action accordingly. “The government is well aware and has not sat idle. Law will take its own course,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.

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