ALAPPUZHA: The US Department of Education has confirmed that “honorary doctorate” of award-winning dancers Sunanda Nair and Jayaprabha Menon from Kings University Hawaii were fake and there are no such universities under them.
An email this newspaper got on Tuesday says Kings University does not receive “Title IV” funds from it and therefore, they have no information on them.
Accredited American colleges and universities are classified on their inclusion under ‘Title IV’ that covers the administration of the US federal student financial aid programmes.
DC had reported about D Litts of 'Kings University' run by S. Selvin Kumar, a former faculty member of the Madurai Kamaraj University.
It lavishly confers business magnets, artists, social workers and others longing for the “doctor” title with so-called D.Litt.
The bio of Mr Kumar on its website says he's one of the globally distinguished scholars of art history and comparative religions and that he is the chair for the International Peace Council, USA and United Human Rights International.
Ajit Ravi, chairman, Pegasus, an event management company based in Kochi which organises Miss South India contest every year, also holds a D. Litt from this "university".
As per widely-accepted system, an honorary PhD is for outstanding contribution to the field of knowledge and a landmark record in discipline and field of study.
When asked if the jury who selected U.S-settled Ms Nair for Kalaratnam award last year had verified the authenticity of her doctorate, Dr N.R. Gramaprakash, member, administrative committee, Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university, says they selected her by performance, not in an academic discipline.
Dancer Neena Prasad, first Malayali who secured PhD in southern Indian classical dances from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in 2001, blames it on the ‘make-believe’ syndrome of Malayalis.
“The government has to intervene to stop this cheating," she told DC.
Pallavi Krishnan, another Mohiniyattam exponent, calls upon artistic fraternity to stand up against the aberration. “I am pained. It’s high time authorities woke up and acted,” she said.