The University of Mumbai, in an attempt to curb the circulation of fake degree certificates and the accelerate the degree verification process, will now include Quick Response (QR) codes on its degree certificates. The step will allow colleges to authenticate degrees by scanning the QR codes. This can be done with a smartphone as well. This process will not only save time, which earlier used to take anywhere between five days to one month but will also condense the burden of the examination department.
The university has been facing a lot of criticism due to the increased circulation of fake degrees and mark sheets. A RTI (Right to Information) filed in August 2015, disclosed that MU detected more than 900 fake degrees between academic years 2012-13 and 2015-16, which makes an average of 34 fake degrees every month in the previous academic year.
When graduates from MU apply for employment or for higher education anywhere, they are required to attach their degree certificates which are then verified by the college authorities or the employers.
The QR code technology will not only cut short the lengthy process of verification but will make it easy to access as well. Once the code is scanned, it will provide a link to all the records of the student which will help the employers or the college authorities to confirm the originality of the documents themselves.
The recent mishandling of sensitive information by the university has forced the examination department to take up stringent steps in order prevent this notorious practice. The department has also started to deliver question papers to colleges electronically in order to prevent the leaking of question papers prior to examinations.
These steps not only makes this process less cumbersome but also reduces the cost of verification to a great extent and also takes a big load off the table of the examination branch.
In a similar light, the authorities of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow undertook the decision to include QR code in their certificates in 2015. They included other security features such as Micro Text Line, Guilloche Design with Raster effect, UV Invisible Ink, Watermark Logo and Anti-scanning ink in order to curb the unauthorized reproduction of degree certificates.
In recent times, when everyone desires a free lunch and often resorts to easy and corrupt ways to procure that, it becomes extremely necessary for authorities to protect and prevent the hard work of those who have toiled day and night from falling into the hands of the frauds.