PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali accused of academic fraud

Irfaan Ali

The academic achievements of one of the frontrunners in the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) race for presidential candidacy, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, are under question.

Recently, Ali has been featured in the media over the 19 charges with which he was slapped by the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force.

Now, Ali is making more rounds in the media as documents suggest he may have used a fraudulent transcript to pursue a master’s degree programme at an Indian University.      

A dossier containing, among other things, nine of Ali’s academic certificates has been handed to this newspaper.

Information suggests that Ali secured his masters on the basis of a first degree from a University that did not even exist.

Certificate of Ali’s first degree

This was in 2002 after he received a scholarship from the Indian Technical Economic Corporation Programme.
Among the certificates in the dossier was one from the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University of India. That certificate indicated that “Mohamed Irfaan Ali successful completed a one year Masters degree in Human Resource Planning Development in the examinations held in January 2003.

Usually, pursuance of a Master’s degree is predicated on the security of a first degree.

However, the documents provided to this newspaper suggest that Ali defied the odds.

Another certificate indicates that Ali secured his first degree some three years after his Master’s. Academics who have been noting the developments have taken to social media accusing Ali of academic fraud.

The Certificate from the University of Sunderland said that “Mohammed Ali was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts, second class honors having followed an approved honors programme in Business Management.” This was in September 2006.

Of note is the fact that the name on the two certificates differs. Ali’s first name “Mohamed” is spelt with two “m”s on the first degree certificate.

While in India at the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Ali presented, among other things, a transcript from the Chamber Business School. That school was supposed to be located on West Demerara.

One Joshua Shafeek was the President of the West Demerara Chamber and Commerce at the time and the transcript was signed by him.

However, no school of the sort existed then or now.

Ali was once enrolled at the University of Guyana. He registered in 1996 to pursue a diploma in Accounting but never graduated.

All certificates secured by Ali were from abroad. He secured a certificate of participation for the Human Resource Planning and Management Programme from the University of West Indies. This was 2001.

Ali also has a one year post graduate diploma for the All India Institute of Management Studies which he secured in 2002.

Certificate of Ali’s Master’s degree

The former Minister has another certificate from Himachal Pradesh University and National Institute of Rural Development. There are at least three other certificates.
When contacted yesterday, Ali refused to speak specifically to the mix up surrounding the dates of his certificates or whether he presented fake documents to gain access to the Indian University to read for the master’s.

Instead, Ali said that he would not dignify the “smear campaign” with responses.

He said, “I have noted a contrived, concerted campaign to discredit and misrepresent my academic credentials. I have never presented any inaccurate academic achievements.
“I will not give credence to such organized slander to discredit my wide-ranging academic progress by responding to every single element of the mischievous information being peddled and which objective is to undermine my effort to serve as the PPP Presidential Candidate.

“Certificates reflecting my diplomas and degrees are already in the public domain for scrutiny. Further, I am awaiting additional official transcripts from institutions I have completed studies which I will have no hesitation in making public too. I will not be deterred nor intimidated.”

Nevertheless, despite not wanting to speak about the first degree and master’s, Ali spoke about the PhD that he said he is about to secure. He said, “I have submitted my PhD dissertation for examination on the topic: “Design and Development of an Integrated Land Management Model in Guyana” since September 2018.
I am currently awaiting the result of the PhD dissertation evaluation.”

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Comments

  • Dr. Christopher Phekni  On January 16, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I don’t understand those crazy lies Irfan Ali is saying. Doctoral students do not submit a thesis and wait for examination and get a doctorate degree. All PhD programs require the production and defense of a doctoral thesis. All completed theses, upon the recommendation of the chair of the supervisory committee, are submitted to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and forwarded to an external examiner. A final oral presentation and defense of the thesis must be successfully completed prior to being awarded the PhD degree a must be examined by the Commons for publication

  • guyaneseonline  On January 16, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    More questions about Irfaan Ali’s qualifications… University of Sunderland does not offer course Ali claimed he pursued

    Jan 16, 2019 Kaieteur News -By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell

    The University of Sunderland does not offer Business Management. However, based on his certificate, former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali pursued “Business Management” at the institution and secured a “Bachelor of Arts second class honours” in 2006.

    This, in addition to the fact that his name is incorrectly spelt on the certificate, is raising more questions about the authenticity of Ali’s qualifications.

    According to the University of Sunderland, it offers a first degree in Business and Management.
    The University offers BA (Hons) Business and Applied Management, BA (Hons) Business and Financial Management, BA (Hons) Business and Applied Financial Management, BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management, BA (Hons) Business and Applied Human Resource Management, BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Management, BA (Hons) Business and Applied Marketing Management.

    Also, all the business courses offered are full time and are only offered on campus or at an associate learning institution in the United Kingdom. There is no online offer of the business programmed.
    Ali’s Sunderland degree in “Business Management” was reportedly attained in 2006. However, in 2012, when Ali sued Kaieteur News over an article written about his mansion and pool house, he submitted an Affidavit to High Court saying he has a first degree in “International Business” as opposed to “Business Management” as stated on his certificate.

    Ali, “being duly sworn” made oath and said, “I am a holder of a first degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Planning and Development. In addition, I registered to do my Doctor of Philosophy degree with the University of West Indies.”
    Interestingly, Ali is yet to graduate with his PhD which, according to his sworn Affidavit, he was already signed up for since 2012.

    In 2014, Ali was Guyana Times, ‘Person of the Year’.
    And in an article that featured him, Ali said, “I attended Leonora Primary, Cornelia Ida Primary and Saint Stanislaus College. I am a project Management Professional (PMP). I hold a first degree in International Business; Post graduate diploma in International Business; Graduate Certificate from the University of the West Indies (UWI) in HR Planning; Master’s from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi (India); and I am currently pursing my PhD at UWI.”
    Then, he made no mention of having a degree in “Business Management.”
    Also, Ali was very selective in naming the institutions he attended.
    While he listed the local schools he attended, the then Minister named only two of the foreign universities he reportedly attended.

    Also, back then, two years after he said he registered, Ali said that he was pursuing his PhD.
    When he was contacted by this newspaper last Sunday about the fact that, according to his documents, he attained his first degree three years after receiving his Master’s, Ali indicated that he is yet to graduate with his PhD.
    He told this newspaper, “I have submitted my PhD dissertation for examination on the topic: ‘Design and Development of an Integrated Land Management Model in Guyana’ since September 2018. I am currently awaiting the result of the PhD dissertation evaluation.”
    This means, seven years after registering, Ali is still to graduate from the PhD programme that he is pursuing.
    Last Sunday, this newspaper wrote that documents suggest Ali may have used a fraudulent transcript to pursue a Master’s Degree programme at an Indian University.
    A dossier containing, among other things, nine of Ali’s academic certificates has been handed to this newspaper.
    Information suggests that Ali secured his Master’s on the basis of a first degree from a University that did not even exist.
    This was in 2002, after he received a scholarship from the Indian Technical Economic Cooperation Programme.
    Among the certificates in the dossier was one from the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University of India. That certificate indicated that, “Mohamed Irfaan Ali successfully completed a one year Master’s Degree in Human Resource Planning Development in the examinations held in January 2003.
    Usually, pursuance of a Master’s degree is predicated on the security of a first degree.
    However, the documents provided to this newspaper suggest that Ali defied the odds. Ali secured his first degree some three years after his Master’s.
    While in India at the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University to do his Master’s, Ali presented, among other things, a transcript from the Chamber Business School. That school was supposed to be located on West Demerara.
    One Joshua Shafeek was the President of the West Demerara Chamber and Commerce at the time and the transcript was signed by him. While the Business school was registered, it was never accredited neither did it ever offer degree programmes.
    The Certificate from the University of Sunderland said that, “Mohammed Ali was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts, second class honours having followed an approved honours programme in Business Management.” This was in September 2006.
    Of note is the fact that the names on the two certificates differ. Ali’s first name “Mohamed” is spelt with two “m’s” on the first degree certificate.
    Ali secured a certificate of participation for the Human Resource Planning and Management Programme from the University of West Indies. This was 2001.
    Ali also has a one-year postgraduate diploma for the All India Institute of Management Studies, which he secured in 2002.
    The former Minister has another certificate from Himachal Pradesh University and National Institute of Rural Development. There are at least three other certificates.
    Ali was once enrolled at the University of Guyana. He registered in 1996 to pursue a Diploma in Accounting but never graduated.
    Since news broke about the inaccuracies with Ali’s qualifications, several academics took to social and mainstream media with commentary.
    Dr. Mark Devonish said that he has done some research of his own. His research indicates that Sunderland does not offer business degrees online.
    Also, Dr. Devonish pointed out, “Irfaan Ali claimed he did a postgraduate certificate in Finance at the Anglia Ruskin University. I also called their admissions department on +44 1245 493 131 and was advised that there is no postgraduate certificate in finance.
    “There is a MSc in Accounting and Finance but absolutely no postgraduate certificate in Finance. I alluded to this in my letter on 13th January, but gave Irfaan Ali the benefit of the doubt until I would have spoken to the university in question. Again this information can be confirmed via the phone number above or the university’s website http://www.anglia.ac.uk.”

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