Pune : Economics professor caught while accepting bribe over PhD thesis approval

Pune : Economics professor caught in accepting bribe over PhD thesis approval

Pune : Economics professor caught in accepting bribe over PhD thesis approval ( Representational Image )

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A recent scandal has shaken the academic community in Pune as a professor from the Economics department at Baburaoji Gholap College in Sangvi, Dr. Shakuntala Nivrutti Mane (59), has been apprehended by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly accepting a bribe in exchange for approving a PhD thesis.

According to ACB officials, Dr. Mane, who was appointed as a guide to a 40-year-old PhD scholar and fellow teacher at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) back in 2022, stands accused of demanding Rs 25,000 from the scholar to expedite the approval process for the thesis. The complaint was lodged by the scholar, who submitted his thesis in October 2023 but claimed that Dr. Mane insisted on the bribe for both cancelling and reapproving it with suggested improvements.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sudam Pachorkar, who is leading the investigation, stated, “The PhD scholar had submitted his thesis in October 2023. We received a complaint from him that Dr. Mane allegedly demanded Rs 25,000 for cancelling his thesis and approving it when submitted again with improvements.”

Upon verifying the complaint on March 26, the ACB swiftly set up a sting operation at the HoD Economics office in Baburaoji Gholap College. Dr. Mane was apprehended red-handed while accepting the initial installment of Rs 20,000 from the complainant, as reported in an ACB press release.

An FIR has been lodged against Dr. Mane at the Sangvi police station under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The incident has sparked outrage and raised concerns over academic integrity and ethics within the educational institutions of Pune.

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