The then Education Minister Gopalman Shrestha had given permission to change the name and location of the university, while there was no land to run the college in Dharan.
It has been revealed that crores of rupees are being swindled in the temptation to give shares of colleges opened in connection with foreign universities. Without criteria, political affiliation is seen in the affiliation, relocation and renaming of such colleges, and even the employees of the Ministry of Education are involved.
One of the scammers is Sanjay Kumar Jha, president of Kent College of Technology and Management. According to the victims, he has cheated millions by registering more than one college and giving shares in those colleges. It has been found that Jha has swindled more than Rs 30 million by making fake documents from the Ministry of Education and deceiving other share members. According to the victims, he had run a fraudulent business with Laxmi Kumar Khadka, Deputy Secretary of the Higher Education Division of the Ministry.
The accused Jha is in custody on the charge of fraud on the order of the District Court, Kathmandu. He was arrested by Kathmandu police in the second week of August and produced in court. He was arrested on the complaint of Praveen Kumar Jha, who is also a teacher. He had taken Rs 500,000 before 2074 BS to register a new college with Praveen Kumar. After the college could not be registered, he took extra money to give shares of the existing college. At that time, Jha had raised the share amount by showing a college called ICHM.
After taking Rs 20 million from Praveen, he changed the name of the college to Kent College. After that, the location of the affiliated university and college was also changed. The then Education Minister Gopalman Shrestha had given permission to move the college to Dharan without any criteria. The then Minister of Education Shrestha has given permission to change the university, name and location of the college. While in Dharan, there was no infrastructure, land or building to run the college. The ‘Directive 2059 on the operation of educational institutions affiliated to foreign universities’ provides for mandatory monitoring of infrastructure before relocating a college.
He raised more than Rs. “I had already invested Rs 20 million. The college in Kathmandu was shifted to Dharan without letting me know,” said Praveen. ‘ According to Praveen, Jha handed over the money from the bank to Mukesh Maharjan, accounting officer of the college and Deepak Prasad Mishra, chairman of Kent Pvt Ltd. “Sanjay Sir assured that he would make the shareholders of the companies through verbal and email conversations. But to date, he has neither returned the money nor given the shares”, ‘Praveen added.
He has also registered fraud cases against Maharjan and Mishra. Manoj Shrestha, who was also involved in the scam, said that preparations were being made to register a complaint against Jha. According to the agreement received by Nepalheadline, an agreement was reached between them in 2075 BS to run Kent College in Dharan. According to the agreement, Shrestha Group paid Jha in three installments. At that time, the Ministry of Education agreed to pay a revenue fee of Rs 2 million for the relocation of the college, but the college has not been relocated to Dharan yet. Instead, Jha has already applied to the ministry in 2077 BS to relocate the college to Kathmandu. “We have not received any share in the college and we have not received any return on investment,” said Shrestha.
The directory provides for switching to university, name, location and program by fulfilling the criteria. According to the Ministry of Education, Kent College, which has no students, seems to be ‘switching’ every year since 2071. Thus, it is understood that the Ministry of Education has given permission to switch colleges unnaturally.
Jha said that giving shares to Praveen means that ICHM College in Lalitpur was operating till 2071 BS with the permission of Nilai University of Malaysia. In 2073 BS, its affiliation was transferred to Lincoln University in Malaysia.
In November 2074, Jha again submitted a tender to the Ministry to change its affiliation with EHE Eureka University in Switzerland and got immediate permission. Thus, the ministry had allowed the same college to be affiliated with two universities on two different dates at the same time.
“Students are studying in the college, thus changing the place, university and program, the student is inconvenienced,” said an undersecretary of the ministry. Students have not been enrolled in Kent College since 2075 BS. When the university was changed in 2074 BS, more than one hundred students of the college were stranded.
Deputy Secretary Jha in switching in this way
The victims are accused of manipulating the economy through Khadka. According to the operators, Kent College spent Rs. 500,000 for the ministry in 2074 BS. Praveen has also mentioned in his complaint to the police that he has ‘spent’ Rs 500,000 in the ministry without paying the bill. There is a fee of Rs 2 million for the name transfer and relocation of the college. Jha, on the other hand, did not find any data that the revenue fee was paid to the ministry after switching colleges.
Deputy Secretary Khadka said that he was not aware of the old thing and that the college was currently closed. However, in the documents received by Kantipur, it seems that he had given the letter to the college for switching on 13 January 2074. At that time, he was in charge of the higher education branch. He has been in charge of the branch for the third time since February 2077 BS.
The ministry had written two separate letters on the same challan number on December 29 instructing them to collect Rs 2 million in revenue due to the switching of ICHM (Kent) College. In a letter written by the ministry, the university’s university, program and relocation were revealed. Another said that the university, program and location had been changed, but did not say how. According to the victims, After writing two letters like that,
there is a connection between Jha and Khadka .
According to him, Jha had taken money from Praveen to move the college in Lalitpur to Baneshwor but also secretly took money from Shrestha group to move the college to Dharan. He had told Praveen to move the college to Baneshwor. As Praveen and Shrestha had made a ‘deal’ to move the college to two different places, it seems that he had asked them to issue two different letters in collusion with Khadka. “I wrote the letter after the ministry decided to switch,” he said.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up to Nepal Headline Newsletter