State needs to act now to uproot fake Universities in India

fake degrees

It’s nothing new that we are against the fake universities which play with the future of bright students and not to mention, the state, which despite reckoning the situation hasn’t done anything solid in the matter. If you’ve read previous editorials, you’d come to know that. And a lot of people ask me why we feel outraged about the fake and fraud universities that exist in the country. For us, When a university is identified as fake, it must cease to exist with immediate effect and the promoter should be behind bars. It is cheating. It is fraud. The job of the state doesn’t end with a list being put up on a portal and washing its hands off. File an FIR. Follow through the investigation. Put pressure. Ensure a quicker process. Stop the facade. Stop the fraud.

We know the pain of a child who went in for studies, took a loan with dreams, hopes, aspirations. And we also know the trauma when he realises that the degree he is about to get is worth a tissue paper. He is left with no job, a bank loan and an EMI, a degree worth a tissue paper and lies told to parents.

Even RBI’s governor Raghuram Rajan has pointed out the flaws in India’s institutional situation, calling students not to fall in trap of useless and fake degrees. Certainly there’s a difference between fake and useless degree. Fake is fake, and useless is a degree though recognised but without any credibility, leaving students with no whatsoever knowledge of professional education.

I give below the list as given by HRD ministry since 2013. For four years, it is the same fake universities, with one change. All exist. All run their operations. All continue to defraud. And the ministry says, they have done their job.

  1. Commercial University Ltd., Delhi.
  2. United Nations University, Delhi.
  3. Vocational University, Delhi.
  4. ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place, New Delhi.
  5. Indian Institute of Science and Engineering, New Delhi.
  6. Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum, Karnataka.
  7. St. John’s University, Kishanattam, Kerala.
  8. Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  9. D.D.B. Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichi, Tamil Nadu.
  10. Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkatta.
  11. Institute of Alternative Medicine and Research,8-A, Diamond Harbour Road, Builtech inn, 2nd Floor, Thakurpurkur, Kolkata.
  12. Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (UP) Jagatpuri, Delhi.
  13. Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women’s University) Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
  14. Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
  15. National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  16. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
  17. Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Kosi Kalan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
  18. Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
  19. Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area,Khoda,Makanpur,Noida Phase-II, Uttar Pradesh.
  20. Gurukul Vishwavidyala, Vridanvan, Uttar Pradesh.
  21. Nababharat Shiksha Parishad, Shaktinagar, Rourkela, U.P.
  22. Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar

Last week, The HRD ministry released a list if 22 fake universities as it has been releasing since past 3 years. And this year’s list comes with one additional fake university functioning. The minister said and I quote a report “Irani denied charges that the centre washing its hands off in taking action against such universities saying the government had fulfilled its duties in informing the state governments for action against the concerned”.

“Law and order is a state issue and only states can take action as per federal structure. No state government has so far said it is not taking action against such universities and have instead shown inclination of taking action,” The minister said.

Is that enough? By the way, Delhi has a few of them too.

To say that newspapers who publish advertisements of these universities should be prosecuted won’t be wrong since it’s State’s responsibility. It’s true that it’s the main source through which universities advertise and became known to the masses. While accepting ads all publishers should do a due diligence and confirm whether the University is legal I know it could be a hassle. However if done so, no fake university can advertise ever you are hitting them where it hurts the most. But Media is no police and they need not know what is true and what is false. After all, they are just providing information to the interested people. It’s not similar to cases where film stars and celebrities will be held responsible for endorsing faulty or hazardous products.

What is more intriguing is that some of these like Maithili University and United Nations University have been on the fake list of the UGC for 20 years if not more. Clearly this fake list does not seem to have much impact if they can survive for so long.

It’s also reportedly true that India is the largest manufacturer of fake degrees in the world.

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