Darbhanga: The University Grants Commission’s state-wise list of fake universities, published in April, names Maithili University as the only bogus varsity in Bihar.
Maithili University, with its headquarters in Darbhanga, was established in 1961 by Dinraj Shandilya, also known as Surya Narayan Thakur, a professor of English at the Vidyanand Mithila Sanskrit College, affiliated to the Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University (KSDSU).
In the early 1990s, the university became completely non-operational from its headquarters in Darbhanga. But certificates and degrees were reportedly on sale in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.
The university flourished well in the early years, opening around 117 branches nationwide and also in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. The idea was to inculcate the glorious culture of Mithilanchal and endorse Maithili within the country and abroad. But gradually the university became a means to mint money and the main motive was forgotten.
“Dinraj Shandilya set up the university along with his brother Hari Narayan Thakur. Shandilya became its vice-chancellor and his brother the registrar. A cousin of Shandilya, Omprakash Thakur, was made finance officer,” said Dhairyanath Choudhary, professor in English at the Vidyanand Mithila Sanskrit College.
He said the state government first noticed financial irregularities at the varsity in year 1986. Following this, the government lodged an FIR with the University police station vide case no 138/86. Foul play by the university was proved during investigation and Shandilya had to go to jail.
“Subsequently, his brother Hari Narayan Thakur was also sent to jail in a case lodged in Andhra Pradesh,” Choudhary said. “The university benefited immensely for its name’s similarity with Mithila University.”
Choudhary said the building that served as the varsity’s head office was a part of Vidyanand Mithila Sanskrit College and is still under occupied illegally by Shandilya’s family members.
But a relative of Shandilya, who also happens to be a priest at a temple near the varsity building, claims Shandilya made every effort to promote the language of Mithila but his opponents tried to defame him after he died in 2006.
Courtesy: The Telegraph