Response to “Thousands of graduates at risk after Sikkim Manipal University graduation degree revealed to be Distance Learning degree.”

Back in the year 2004, I was one of the victims of an education consultant in Thimphu. I got admission in a Sikkim Manipal University study centre in Kolkata, Salt Lake City.I was the only one who was pursuing BAJM (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication) in a rented building block known as a ‘college.’ I wasn’t at all comfortable and I felt something is terribly going wrong. I wasted my precious academic time and my parents hard earned money. I was assuming myself to be in college but studied nothing. It may have been my far sighted decision, if I  look at it now, as I left the SMU study centre in Salt lake ,Kolkata, right after completing the first semester. My result was a ‘colorful’ 70% and that best suits the eligibility criteria for the job markets in Bhutan. Moreover it is good for attempting Civil service examination as RCSE counts 20% of the academic marks.

I was not all studying in the institution or college. My experience with SMU still haunts me. With the blessings and support from my beloved parents I finally graduated from Hansraj College, Delhi University and am now pursuing Master of International development from University of Canberra in Australia.



With regard to the most unfortunate situation that many Bhutanese who went to SMU now find themselves in today with their degrees not recognized as its is  Distance Learning, let me highlight few excerpts from the article:

QUOTE  – The RCSC’s examination division head Jigme Norbu said that both the 2010 BCSR and the 2012 BCSR does not allow for ‘distance education’ certificates to be accepted.…”

RCSC Chairman Dasho Karma Tshiteem said that RCSC does not accept ‘distance learning’ certificates due to quality issues as students do not have a point of contact..”

RCSC this year disqualified a PGDE candidate even after the candidate got through once it was found that the graduation certificate was a ‘distance learning’ one.

RCSC and other government agencies, as a rule, do not accept ‘Distance Education’ graduation certificates for employment. Moreover, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) also does not accept such degrees to contest in elections. – UNQUOTE

That being the case the Prime Minister, Education Minister, RCSC, DAHE and RUB must take this issue very seriously and not resort to half-hearted measures or apply double standards.

In particular they must review cases by those who people who cheated the system under false declarations and got into the civil service.

RCSC and Cabinet must open a hotline to receive complaints about such devious people who must face the severest penalty.

On the other hand those who were conned by SMU, SIGMA etc should not be treated like criminals because they were naive. Some leniency must be shown for example by allowing them get a legitimate degree and an opportunity to participate in elections or RCSC exams etc. It will be a tough call but 3 years is nothing compared to a lifetime of opportunities.

The government should also use its good offices to make SMU refund the fees to our students. If necessary hire a good Indian lawyer because only the threat of legal action may force these con artists into submission.



The ground reality out here in Indian institutions is such that there is always limited teacher student interaction and lack of specified and academic sources where students are taught from. Students in the first year pay huge sums of money for meals students don’t eat, girls are harassed with lewd comments, whistling and spanking on rears by motor cyclists.

Students have to pay fees even on internships and the many hidden costs at colleges is financially stabbing.

Education Consultancies based in Bhutan are hardly heard out here, not to mention how inefficient they are when these consultants take us to the respective colleges on the first day. Education consultants remain in denial of their responsibilities. Hope somebody is made responsible.

Tshering Wangchuk


I think it’s a matter of perception. Irrespective of what’s mentioned or not on the degree certificates, because of the fact that these people had studied at SMU affiliated colleges with formal classes and study programs, there shouldn’t be a reason to doubt the quality of education. They deserved to be treated equally at par with any formal degrees. If at all there’s a need to review, the focus should be to see if these people were enrolled in a formal classes with standard teaching programs.

Yeshi Wangchuk


It is recognized in India and accepted worldwide . It is not recognized only in Bhutan. We are called for campus interviews. I don’t know why we are lagging behind the rest of world. Advance and move ahead and keep up with the latest technology and only then we will move ahead. I do not find any problems, conduct tests and interview The degree marks can be taken at 10 percent. Moreover we do not apply what we study in college as only common sense is required for work.

Gayleg Zangmo


Thousands of people are enrolled already in the civil service, autonomous bodies, corporate and private companies and firms.. Now the government is trying to track the Distance Education Certificate. Those students doing distance education are more smarter than the government as most of the candidates doing DE education have already requested the university to provide regular mark sheets and graduation certificates. If the RCSC wants to scan out those students the RCSC should first cross check the daily attendance maintained with particular ministries, departments,etc

Star Love Seven


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One comment

  1. Dear Editor

    Sub:- (i)- USA should tell ally India not to be afraid of Chines threat of ‘liberating’ Kashmir (ii)- USA should wake up at-least after getting open military challenge from Pak-China alliance (iii)- Protectorate is nothing new, the USA also has been keeping Japan as protectorate (iv)- USA should ask India to take martial responsibilities seriously (v)- USA should nudge India to become super power in order to militarily take-on China and Pakistan combined (vi)- If $ ~ 4 Trillion reserve money can make China super power, $ ~ 16 Trillion can make India doubly so (vii)- Rather USA should ask India to retrieve PoK and to endeavor to get all Indian territories from China back (viii)- USA should ensure that Pakistan does not use US aid & supply against India in a war for Kashmir (ix)- After threat by China of instigating independence for Sikkim, the independence of Tibet should be supported by India

    — China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese army’s construction party attempted to build a road in this territory which is under dispute between China and India’s protectorate Bhutan. As per media reports in the article in Chinese government media the ‘Global Times’ Long Xingchun, Director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, said – “[A “third country’s” (read Chinese) army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request, using the “same logic” the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing a road in the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector on behalf of Bhutan. Even if India were requested to defend Bhutan’s territory, this could only be limited to its established territory, not the disputed area]”. This is an absurd argument given by China because Bhutan is protectorate of India and Bhutan’s territory (established or disputed where status –quo is legally expected) is the martial responsibility of India to defend. China should know that protectorate is nothing new. The USA also has been keeping Japan as protectorate.

    Therefore USA should wake up at-least after getting open military challenge from Pak-China alliance. Pakistan (its NSA Sartaj Aziz) has said on TV Channel that [in view of military alliance of USA and India (as reflected in joint statement during PM Modi’s visit to USA) against Pak’s friend China] a military alliance of China, Russia, Pakistan etc has been formed. To what extent power of USA has reduced (due to betrayal of Americanism) is evident from the fact that since the end of cold war for the first time militarily some countries have dared to openly challenge USA, the leader of free world. Hence it is imperative that Prez Trump should persuade ally India to become military (and economic) super power by recovering Rs ~ 1,000 Trillion ($ ~ 16 Trillion) State-capital through Income Tax as mentioned below (this will benefit USA immensely because in the process of spending this $ ~ 16 Trillion, India will purchase immensely from USA including war material which will boost US economy immensely and will generate huge employment in USA).

    The martial spirit of India which got severe beating in 1962 Indo-China war needs to be restored by showing China its proper place by constraining China [through UN as China is a veto wielding permanent member of UN hence is under legal obligation (otherwise china’s veto power should be challenged by India) to go extra mile for resolving martial disputes between UN members] to handover all the Indian territory which is with China [by constituting UN Judicial Commission (UN JC, which China is avoiding because presently India is weak) for boundary settlement which can easily be settled by UNJC as dispute with China (unlike political dispute with Pakistan) is a legal dispute].

    Prez Trump will have to persuade (rather pressurize in the interest of their military alliance) India to recover this $ ~ 16 Trillion State-capital because:-

    (A)- ~ 1 million Indians (Tax-defaulters / evaders) from whom this Tax money is to be recovered are politically well-connected & powerful therefore even PM Modi (with a clean image and self-projected macho image with 56 inch chest) is also finding it difficult to act

    (B)- The self-respect, honor, sovereignty, martial commitments are not important for government of India as is evident from the fact that PM Modi is not demanding (with time bound ultimatum) the removal of Chinese army from India’s protectorate Bhutan’s territory (which is the martial responsibility of India to defend)

    ( C)- India is not trying to become military super power because India is not taking Chinese threat (which is real) seriously and is not realizing that the substantial part of surplus Indian military is bogged down in Kashmir doing civilian duty of maintaining law & order. These security forces and even their families are encircled on three sides by the military of China and Pakistan and which can be trapped by cutting approach road from rest of India (Pathankot – Jammu / Banihal road) to Kashmir valley [India should not forget that Pakistan is itching to take Indian military as ‘Prisoners of War’ (POW) as a revenge to what India did in Bangladesh when India in 1971 took 93 Thousand from Pakistani Army as POW).

    Here it is needless to say that USA should also ensure that:-

    (a)- Pakistan does not use US aid & supply (of money and war material) given to Pakistan, against India in a war for Kashmir

    (b)- After threat by China of instigating independence for Sikkim, The USA should ask India to work for the independence of Tibet.


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