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Fake degrees will rot the Indian education system

fake degrees in indiaA parliamentary panel has demonstrated unease about the government's callous approach in ensuring that students are not duped by fake institutions.

The Parliamentary Panel has stated both the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) were not taking any action besides uploading the names of such institutions on their sites.

There are thousands of qualified individuals having never attended a college. Instances such as arrest of the vice-chancellor of LN Mithila University in Bihar for garnering a large sum by selling such degrees.

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Quacks have been commonplace but in recent times, some truant medical practitioners were brought to light by a Delhi court verdict. Also, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had barred 12 doctors from practicing as they possessed fake degrees. Some of the past incidents of forged marksheets include the check done by Department of the Controller of Examinations, Calcutta University for students having done degree courses between 1972 and 1975. More recently, two education ministers resigned due to direct involvement in a scandal in 1999.

Other than this, even Gujarat University was conducting examinations of a pharmacy college for a few years without taking approval of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI).

Such a surge in fake certificates had led Council of the Board of School Education to give warning signals regarding fake boards. In 1993, the Parliament had been given information on operations of 27 bogus educational institutions in the country giving out fake degrees.

The UGC had also made a list of 21 "self-styled" universities which were advertising on award of degrees but were not allowed to do so.

(Also read: UGC identifies 21 fake universities, 350 unapproved institutions)

Unfortunately, despite finding out that a university is bogus, all UGC can do is issue a notice warning them on refraining words such as university, "vidyapith", "visva vidyalaya", "visva vidyapith".

These instances reflect the eroding of values in Indian universities because of lowering of academic standards. In India, the UGC regulation states that private university cannot up set a campus outside the home state. The commission has recently been hard on unauthorised centres of learning as it has earmarked 10 universities claiming to be UGC-certified and ordering them to shut down the campus. The need of the hour is make UGC more robust and to expose non-serious promoters of education who are only looking to make money.

Image courtesy: Times of India

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