Gujarat deemed university founder dentist turns money maker by selling seats to students

Gujarat deemed university founder dentist turns money maker by selling seats to students

AHMEDABAD, March2: The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau’s probe against Mansukh Shah, the founder of a chain of medical, dental and management institutes in Gujarat arrested this week, has exposed the underbelly of private education.

Mr Shah, 50, was arrested by the ACB on Monday on charges of accepting Rs. 20 lakh from a student for admission to Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, a university that he had set up in Vadodara.

But 48 hours later, investigators allege that the accused – who started out as a dentist from a small clinic less than three decades back – appeared to have perfected the art of making money. He not only sold seats in his university for medical and dental students but also put a price on marks that students could buy. Sometimes, he forced them.

“The 50-year-old dentist-turned-educationist used to threaten students that he would fail them in case they don’t pay up,” PC Chudasama, Assistant Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau, told NDTV.

According to the ACB, Mr Shah would take bribes in cheques that would be returned later, once he got cash from the parents.
Already, Mr Chudasama said they had found 202 cheques amounting to 100 crore rupees from him. “From his office, we (also) have recovered fixed deposit receipts worth 47 crores,” he said. And then, some more from his house.

Incidentally, this is more than the Rs. 103 crore that the university declared as its income in 2013, the last year for which it has declared its finances on its website.

ACB officials are still digging to find out how, and where he had invested the crores he had made his operations over the years. Sources said the bureau had also asked central agencies to ascertain if he had made investments abroad.

During interrogation, Shah claimed he had to pay off officials at the Medical Council of India that regulates medical education. It is estimated nearly 50 per cent of the seats in his university – which was awarded the status of a Deemed University – in 2007 were sold.