Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi. DH File Photo
Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi said on Thursday that neither he nor his department, had anything to do with the procurement of marks cards for universities. He denied allegations of a 'scam' having occurred in the process.
"Universities are autonomous and can take independent decisions. So there's no question of my interference," Rayareddi told reporters.
The minister said the issue came up at a Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) meeting that he chaired in August last year. "Vice-Chancellors in the meeting said universities were procuring marks cards at different rates and quality. It was decided that the Lekhak brand of the MSIL was the best, and a resolution was passed to that effect," he said.It was in November 2015 that MSIL floated a tender "although it was exempted from doing so" ...and received bids from vendors who followed standards of the Reserve Bank of India.
Mumbai-based Devharsh Infotech emerged as the lowest bidder. "MSIL has clarified that this company is not blacklisted as alleged," he said. "In line with the KSHEC resolution, universities dealt with MSIL directly. I'm not involved in any manner."
The minister lambasted NSUI state president Manjunatha H S for making baseless allegations.
"This person had come to me for securing help to pass VTU failed students. He asked to me allow a carryover, that was not possible," the minister said; alluding to the possibility that the student body may have used this 'scam' to get back at him.
The Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) has accused the Higher Education department of abetting the scam, which apparently involved the Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) procuring low-quality marks cards and certificates at higher rates from a Mumbai-based vendor.