Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Employee cleared of 'misleading' IDA

By Calvin Yang, The Straits Times, 25 Apr 2015

THE Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) employee who obtained an unaccredited master's degree has been cleared of claims that she misled her employer when applying for a job.

After finishing its investigations, the IDA said yesterday it is satisfied that applications consultant Nisha Padmanabhan did not deceive the agency by listing the MBA from Web-based Southern Pacific University, an alleged diploma mill, in her resume.

The IDA added that Ms Padmanabhan's employment was not based on her MBA, as her position required only a bachelor's degree, and that it also considered her relevant skills and prior work experience.

Hi everyone,Thank you for your patience in awaiting the outcome of our investigation into the case concerning Nisha...
Posted by IDA Singapore on Friday, April 24, 2015

Ms Padmanabhan, who has a bachelor's in electronics and telecommunication from the University of Mumbai in India, joined the IDA last year.

"She had genuinely believed her MBA programme to be bona fide, and she had put in effort to obtain the qualification," the IDA said.

Earlier this month, netizens criticised the agency for hiring Ms Padmanabhan despite the "phoney" qualification from Southern Pacific University, which was closed in the United States by a court order.

Meanwhile, claims that a senior polytechnic lecturer obtained a fake master's degree have been circulating on Internet forums and social media.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) media lecturer Marc Jonet, 52, received a master's in education from non-accredited, online-based Breyer State University three years ago, according to his personal bio, listed on the school's website and his LinkedIn page. Based on the biodata, he is supposedly graduating from the same institution with a doctorate in psychology later this year.

Mr Jonet, who is from Belgium, has been with NP's School of Film and Media Studies for about 15 years.

In a statement on Wednesday, the polytechnic said Mr Jonet was hired based on his prior work experience covering more than 10 years, which included editing and post-production work.

NP added that Mr Jonet pursued the master's programme of his own accord, and that it was not a job requirement and had no bearing on his progression at the institution.

IDA probes claim about employee
She's said to have fake MBA; agency said she was hired based on her BA
By Feng Zengkun, The Straits Times, 21 Apr 2015

THE Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is investigating a claim that one of its employees has a fake master's degree.

In a Facebook note yesterday, the IDA said it is continuing to look into the case of Ms Nisha Padmanabhan, who joined the agency last year with a master's degree from online-based Southern Pacific University.

The university has been alleged to be a "degree mill" - an institution selling non-accredited educational credentials or diplomas for a fee - and was closed in the United States by a court order. It is now apparently operating in Malaysia.

Hello everybody, we understand your sentiments and concerns and we are continuing to look into the case concerning Nisha...
Posted by IDA Singapore on Sunday, April 19, 2015

The IDA has been criticised online after a netizen accused it earlier this month of hiring Ms Padmanabhan despite her allegedly phoney qualification.

Last week, the IDA said on its Facebook page that Ms Padmanabhan, a Singapore citizen, has a bachelor's degree from "a reputable university".

According to her LinkedIn page, she has a bachelor's in electronics and telecommunication from the University of Mumbai in India, and worked for nearly 14 years in various firms before joining IDA.

"She was recruited because of this bachelor's degree, extensive past work experience and good track record," the IDA said.

"Nisha pursued an MBA out of personal interest, and it was not a relevant certificate for her position in IDA though she was open about the fact that she had obtained it."

In fact, 93 per cent of IDA staff at the level of applications consultant were hired because of their bachelor's degree.

The criticism against IDA continued, however, with several people hijacking its Facebook posts on other subjects to comment on Ms Padmanabhan's hiring and the agency's handling of the case.

In its latest post on the matter yesterday, the IDA said: "We understand your sentiments and concerns, and we are continuing to look into the matter."

It asked people with comments to share them on the post, or e-mail

It added that it would more actively moderate comments on the rest of its Facebook posts so the discussion would remain civil and constructive. It said it does not generally remove comments, but reserves the right to remove those that contain vulgarities, are personal attacks against individuals or are deemed inappropriate.

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