Mysuru: Former Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) and University of Mysore, Prof. K.S. Rangappa said, “I am deeply pained by the plight of lakhs of students of KSOU who are in doldrums today. I have said this many times in the past and I am saying it again. I am ready to face any CBI, CID, CCB enquiry instituted against me. That is the reason why I am here alone, to face the media and explain my position.”
He was addressing a solo press conference at a private hotel in the city, here this morning and said, “There is lot of news about fake marks card racket in KSOU of which I was a VC between 2009-2013. The University was derecognised after I demitted office in Jan. 2013. How can I be responsible for that?”
Prof. Rangappa said that allegations are flowing thick and fast that he is involved in the fake marks cards racket. “When I was the VC, the marks cards were issued only to those students whose names were in the register. I have myself taken action against a couple of people during my tenure when a few incidents had occurred during the earlier VCs’ regime. Now, it is five years since I left and I cannot be held responsible for what is unfolding now,” he said.
He was asked about allegations on bridge courses where there is opposition from the government and others as to how KSOU could run courses and give certificates regarding SSLC and PUC.
In his reply he first displayed a marks card of KSOU that clearly mentions, “Degree Bridge Course (Equivalent to 12) and in the note one of the terms and conditions that is clearly mentioned reads ‘This program under special initiative for Dropout students’.”
He asked whether it was wrong to give lessons to dropouts and poor students? And went on to clarify that the marks card was not valid for any other purpose other than getting admission to courses in KSOU. There are two Regulations in the KSOU Act — the Regulation one is about students between 17 and 18 years who do the bridge course that is equivalent to SSLC and Regulation two is about PUC students who can take the BA, B.Com course after they are given tuition. “We have always followed the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act. If IGNOU can have courses all over the country, why can’t KSOU?” he asked.
Referring to the bold decision of the Tamil Nadu government when the UGC had threatened to derecognise one of their Open Universities, the government there had written back to UGC telling that it (UGC) had nothing to do with them as it was passed under the TN Act. “Why is it that our Government is not taking the same stand and instead, bowing to the pressure of the Centre? How is that when I was the VC, I faced them and they did not take the matter further but the moment my tenure ended there, they derecognised the course?” he wondered.
Prof. Rangappa, displaying a copy of an office order where the KSOU has constituted a 12-member committee to look into the fake marks card racket, he said, “How can the Registrar in the absence of the VC and Registrar (Evaluation) constitute a committee that too consisting of all the 12 members from the same KSOU itself and institute an enquiry?”
An Academic Terrorist !
When a journalist asked Prof. K.S. Rangappa about the city’s NGO Mysore Grahakara Parishat writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him an ‘Academic Terrorist,’ Prof. Rangappa seemed quite amused and said, “Who are these people to find fault with what I had done during my Vice-Chancellorship?” and added “I have worked in more than 10 research Universities in the world. I have 10 patents and my work on cancer, diabetes has been recognised worldwide, and even a country like China has welcomed me. Who are these people to throw mud on me? If they call me an academic terrorist, it goes to show how warped their minds are? I only feel sorry for them.”