Fourteen Indian universities have been on the government’s “fake” list for at least 17 years but continue to operate, raising concerns why unapproved institutions that endanger students’ careers aren’t reined in.
All 14 universities appear on the University Grants Commission’s current list of so-called fake universities — those that cannot legally grant degrees and are prohibited by law from referring to themselves as universities — as well as the same list created in 2000.
An archived version of the UGC’s website (PDF) provides a list of 18 unapproved universities as on May 1, 2000. Fourteen of those universities also appear on UGC’s most recent list (PDF), published in September. There, they are joined by another 9 universities, meaning UGC has known about more than half of the currently listed universities for at least 17 years.
Though UGC maintains the list of unapproved universities, the states are responsible for taking appropriate legal action against them.
“We have been constantly sending letters to all the states asking them to take action against fake institutes as they are jeopardizing the careers of innocent students,” said Mahendra Nath Pandey, a minister of state at the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
HRD also plans to send reminder letters to all states asking them to submit a report detailing actions they’ve taken against fake universities and technical institutions, Pandey added. Uttar Pradesh, which has more unapproved universities than any other state, will be asked to expedite action.
The ministry has created a website, called Know Your College, where students can learn about legitimate universities and colleges and avoid being duped by unapproved ones.
“We also have an in-built mechanism for redressal in this portal and students are advised to use it,” a senior HRD official said.
The 14 universities that have been listed for at least 17 years are:
• Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society (Karnataka); Commercial University Ltd. (Delhi)
• Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith (Uttar Pradesh); Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya (Uttar Pradesh)
• Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women’s University) (Uttar Pradesh)
• Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya (Bihar)
• National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy (Uttar Pradesh)
• Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University) (Uttar Pradesh)
• Raja Arabic University (Maharashtra)
• St. John’s University (Kerala)
• United Nations University (Delhi)
• Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya (Uttar Pradesh)
• Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya (Delhi)
• Vocational University (Delhi)