NTU revokes Ph.D degree of another Indian national in data falsification scandal


Last year, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) terminated the employment of one of its professors, Ravi Kambadur, at both the university and A*STAR. Explaining the termination NTU said that the professor had been willfully negligent in directing a research group he was leading.

NTU said at that time that another researcher had also come forward and confessed to making up data. NTU did not reveal the researcher’s details then as disciplinary procedures against her were ongoing. NTU has now identified the researcher as Sabeera Bonala. The university said that her PhD, which she was awarded in 2013, has been revoked.

Three papers that list Bonala as first author — two in The Journal of Biological Chemistry and one in Molecular Endocrinology — were pulled last year.

Bonala’s social media accounts have been deactivated. But her Twitter cache suggests that Bonala has returned to India and is now working as the Executive Director of Biostandups. The disgraced researcher is also the co-founder of the outfit which lists its mission as that of “connecting Science, Biotechnology and Healthcare to improve the position and participation of Asia Biotech ecosystem globally through spreading the word. Bridging the gap between academia and Biotech industry to bring 21st century skills and standards to Asia from across the world.”

Ravi Kambadur who was dismissed by NTU last year, holds several qualifications from India, the highest being a PhD (Biochem) from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

The institution of higher learning Prof Kambadur graduated from, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI), had been embroiled in a cheating controversy in the past.

An Indian publication, Tribune reported in 2013 that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) unearthed a well-organised cheating racket during an MD (medical doctorate) entrance examination at PGI in late 2012. CBI rounded up seven woman and seven men. They were accused of using bluetooth devices and mobile phones to cheat in the examination.

NTU decided to prematurely terminate the professor’s contract after investigations into allegations of malpractice in research, which resulted in three retractions of papers, one withdrawal and two corrections.

The university’s investigations also resulted in NTU revoking a doctorate awarded to one of its post-graduate student Sudarsanreddy Lokireddy, also an Indian national.


NTU’s statement suggests that not only Mr Lokireddy and Prof Kambadur but some of its other researchers too may be implicated and eventually penalised because of the findings of its investigations.


  1. It’s common knowledge that students in India universities blatantly cheat in exams, and this culture of cheating continues into higher education and perhaps into their working lives. It’s time the universities here wake up and beware before our universities earn the same title of cheats.

  2. It is known deep cultural issues from that region & our uni should have aware n beware of.
    These ppl shld be prosecuted as cheats as they collected tens of thousands of tax payers dollars.
    Also…. who ever brought them in need to be sacked.

  3. Why do we need FT professors and Researchers . Most of them have fake degrees . Why those the NTU /NUS don’t trust local PHD student ? Why salary very high is it , then cut the ministers pay and give it to then . Our own PhD student are working overseas and we are getting FTs with fake PhD to work in Singapore ! I find it stupid.

    • Asaraf Ali

      It is frightening that all the Researchers having their PHD withdrawn and disgraced and resigned are all from India.
      Not all Indians intellectuals are frauds, as witnessed by the brilliant brains that had propelled the USA ahead in rocket sciences, biological sciences etc.
      But the sickening part is that Singapore is picking up the drags of the Indian higher education institutes and even our own unis.
      How many frauds have been detected in our GLCs who went out to employ these frauds at the expenses of locals, who are equally qualified and honest, but just because they are not from India, our locals are denied high paying jobs.
      Not to say some locals may not be up to scratch but their degrees are not tainted with falsification of research, dishonesty.
      Because of the unequal treaty Singapore signed with India that Singapore must allow Indians to be employed in 127 categories of local jobs, locals,true bred Singaporeans are denied employment or lost their jobs to Indians, who are not up to their claims that they are highly qualified in their field of studies and have the relevant job experiences.

      A local GLC employed A horde of Indians as IT professionals.
      It turns out these Indians do not even understand IBM’s “Job control language or JCLs”.

      They even approached the local IT staff to teach them. As we will be retrenched or forced to leave the GLC, it was never in our interest to extend the courtesy of passing over our skill sets.
      Thus we can only blame our Govt for encouraging an influx of lowly qualified foreign talents at the expense of the locals’ rice bowl.

    • Ivan Ong wow ! We got treaty with them ? But why the Govt don’t trust the local . That is one of the reason why the employment rate is high . Just look at MBS and RWS . When you walk in already at the Recep is all Filipino , Cleaners mix singaporean and Malaysian , chamber maids Malaysian and Myanmar and Chinese nationals. Their Engineers are Filipino , Indian and Myanmar . The govt don’t create jobs for singaporean . I know cos i do the A&A works there and I have seen all kind of ppl there . What is wrong in employing local poly students and ITE student and ppl with singaporean with relevant experience ?

    • Asaraf Ali We are second class citizens in the govt’s eyes. They squeeze us for more taxes and we still voted them in, like fools. That is the 69 percents.

  4. Wa!! Finally wake up liao?!!! And NTU had this staff under their nose for so.many years!!!! NTU should sue and crawl back all their salary and sue them for cheating instead of just terminating them. Send them to jail and splash the news and all the fake fts will go home automatically. Esp those in the health care system. Human lives matters more than cheap and fake care takers like doctors and nurses.

  5. What about the 4 years salaries earned under the Phd degree? The 4 years salaries are good enough for her to go back Indian to buy land and build a bungalow! Foreigners don’t only “create jobs for Singaporeans”, they also create jobs for their country men! Dishonourable son wishes are well fulfilled! !

  6. Two A*star guys were caught colluding to cheat GST in airport Tiffany & Prada purchase. Another scholar poisoned colleague’s water bottles. Now fake researcher at NTU and recruited by A*star. Greatest joke on earth – Asinine Star organisation.

    • Not as easy as to just screen. Reasons are the publications reviews are done by international peers of experience. Just that after that people want to replicate their results find that something wrong.

    • An example of stupidity and ignorance of authorities. A complaint letter was sent to the right authority with a complaint that needed looking into. The reciepient forwarded the complain letter to the organisation against whom the complain was only to receive threatening response from that org. Stupidity, ignorance or what. Staff concerned was too dumb to even assess the contents of the complain.

    • YCChen….Im definitely a local thoroughbred Singapore born singaporean and pity your last sentence even makes me doubt if you are import or homegrown. Your last sentence is very unbecoming. Dont assume. If I make a comment like I did common sense will tell you a Singaporean is speaking. Fortunately for me I dont use abbreviated impolite comment.

    • Yes! The Spore Govt need the FTs to be given citizenship to ensure the PAP win the next GE. They are aware that many “True Blues” are slowly getting “Tired” of them.

  7. One fraud has been identified. Kudos. There could be others and some might have gotten away. Overseas scums have no qualms over staging such scams for personal gain. They should be fined and jailed.

    • The Country is already “down the slide”. Many cannot see it because it is well “camouflaged”. Not enough capable opposition to check on the PAP. The people were warned of this so many times in the past. But…………

  8. Data scam is done in all parts of the world. These are some really smart people that can move a business forward. Dumb people will just sit their ass and complain. Getting caught is just a risk they take.

  9. Who able employed them must owe up Both must charge for cheating and find heavily possible Jail them both for Cheating recover the 4years salary which we pay them Taxpayers money@!!

  10. There’s more of such not only in schools also in orgs. Pls give jobs to our people as we don’t buy them. They studied hard day and night to get these degrees yet being jobless. They are not choosy the wedge that you guys offer them can’t survive in this country.

  11. Not surprising they are magician can obtain degree without study. MOM should re-evaluate tertiary qualifications from India universities or best ban them.

  12. So what if it is fake…we have feedback,we have cried for unfairness towards us and protest for detail check are all ignored…

    Our ministry still invite them and have us replaced use with their unchecked certifications.

    I still recalled a senior project manager with PMP certifications and master degree qualification ask me what is the short.cut let for copy and paste…hahaha

  13. On a paper, the uni will count toward you if your name appeared before others, those names appeared after the first name are co-author and tapake never mind if you are the one who do all the donkey works.

    • Its high time the relevant authorities review, scrutinize the qualifications of all the FTs working over here and immediately deport the ones found with falsified qualifications.

  14. It pays to be a foreigner in Singapore, you get paid big bucks for using fake credentials, and you only the sack but no criminal case when you get found out.

  15. The government agencies are not serious in their job. As long they are well paid everything for them is nothing serious even those FT using fake certificate to work in Singapore.

  16. It’s under Ministry of Education should investigate all A Stars researchers especially from India look at them size up you can finger out they are not fit to be there eg Many Indian Terrorism researchers at our institutions never been to Philippines Indonesia never study the Weapons or explosives or don’t know what is it’s Can fool you with the figers and satitic of Terrorism!!!

  17. Blame ownself fir suck system.

    They hv been in their blood since.

    Only our G been blinded with their paper qualifications.

    This is not only in the Biological sciences or Medical doctors. Those IT and others related degree from the sane country need to be revoked and scrutinised.

    Ownself check ownself system is Sucked. (Period).

  18. I used to worked in India, get to know some university people. I was offered degree of any types I wish to, at a FEES. We Singaporean don’t buy degree. So you can imagine those FT with beautiful degree. How they come from?

  19. If these FT’s are really good, they wound have stayed in their own country. They are 3rd raters trash in their own country, come here as screwed up FT. only Sg govn. will take them.

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