BAC’s degree recognition process questioned

Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) is reviewing the case of alleged double standards in the recognition process of university certificate by Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC).

Tshokey Dorji was among the four aspiring National Council candidates from Thimphu Thromde.

The Supreme Court had issued a letter stating that the candidate’s certificate was genuine.

One of the aspiring candidates from the thromde, Sonam Penjor, who filed the complaint, said that the BAC or the Registrar General could authenticate Tshokey Dorji’s degree by getting confirmation from the university.

“Although I studied from one of the world’s reputed colleges in Switzerland, I had to run from pillar to post to get my degree attested and recognised by the BAC. I could have used this time to go for familiarisation tours,” Sonam Penjor said.

According to Sonam Penjor, BAC’s treatment of Tshokey Dorji gave him undue advantage in the race.

Another candidate from the thromde, Wangchuk Tobgyel, said that he obtained authentication letter from the university to be recognised by BAC.

“The process takes time,” he said.

Jamtsho, another candidate, said that the Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE) forwarded his application to the university for authentication.

“It takes about three months to get the degree recognised,” he said.

An official from the DAHE said that a candidate could seek authentication from government agencies where they were employed.

ECB officials said that they would not comment as the case was under review.

Tshokey Dorji did not want to comment stating that he would respect the decision of the dispute settlement committee.

Section 167(a) of the Election Act states that a person can petition the ECB to seek disqualification of a candidate for election as a Member of Parliament on different grounds.

Earlier, DAHE had notified that the process of recognition of a degree would involve validating qualifications with the awarding institutions and is solely dependent on the response from the institutions.

Dorji Wangchuk, a former teacher, said that there were issues with signature on his degree certificate and on the letter of authentication of his degree.

He said there is a need to seek clarity on whether he should have sought the authentication from the Ministry of Education.

MB Subba

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