TRICHY/CHENNAI: A fake university in Nagapattinam that had doled out degree certificates in alternative medicine to more than 1,000 people from across the country was sealed by the state health department and police on Thursday. Although documents including bank accounts details were seized from the Open International University for Alternative Medicine, its chairperson, T Selvaraj, 54, evaded appearing before the health officials or the police for inquiry.
The university has been functioning in a two bedroom rented house with at least five staff on Mela Chetty Street in Kuttalam since 2013. Tipped by an advertisement which appeared in a vernacular daily, officials visited the premises on Thursday. They found five employees and two people from Kerala were paying money to get medical degrees in alternate medicine. “They pay a fee and take the certificate,” said deputy superintendent of police Thomas Prabhakar. “To convince people that it was genuine, the university even managed to publish names of people as doctors in the state gazette to obtain legal sanctity,” he said.
Starting in 2013, the National Board of Alternative Medicine published the names of at least 522 individuals as alternative medicine practitioners in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette. Leading newspapers are exposed the illegality in March 2018. “The gazette publications have stopped because the government became cautious. We have been tracking him for several months now,” said a senior health department official. The university has collected several lakhs of rupees as cash and through at least five bank accounts, officials said.