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Fake degrees: No action against institutes yet

THE ALL India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has reduced 27,000 seats in recognised engineering institutions for not complying with its directives/ orders and for not maintaining required academic standards.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 01:40 IST

THE ALL India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has reduced 27,000 seats in recognised engineering institutions for not complying with its directives/ orders and for not maintaining required academic standards. However, it has failed to take any action against unrecognised private institutions, which are exploiting thousands of gullible students by charging hefty fee and duping students by awarding ‘fake’ degrees, not recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the Distance Education Council (DEC). Many of the private educational institutions have been running their illegal centres in the name of distance education, without any approval or consent of the Distance Education Council (DEC). As such, degrees awarded by these institutions are invalid.

UP Governor TV Rajeswar, it may be recalled, had created history of sorts when he ordered closure of hundreds of education/study centres run by four state universities and later ‘sacked’ four vice-chancellors for illegally running education centres all over the country and even in some foreign countries, in connivance with the education mafia.

The governor wrote to the HRD Ministry drawing its attention towards hundreds of illegally-run colleges and institutions which have been fleecing students.

However, no action has been initiated from any corner against the education mafia who have been continuing their lucrative ‘business’ with impunity.

For example, the Institute of Charted Financial Analyst of India University (ICFAI) has not been given permission to establish and run various centres in the country by the UGC or the DEC, the two bodies set up by the Government of India, to regulate, control and grant recognition to only genuine institutions.

Even the ICFAI officials had admitted during their last Lucknow visit that courses run by the ICFAI and its other so-called ‘branches’ were not recognised by any of the three top bodies of the country—UGC, AICET and the DEC.

The ICFAI is recognised by the Uttaranchal government, has its ‘head office’ in Hyderabad and runs institutions all over the country and even in some foreign countries. It is noteworthy that any degree not recognised by the UGC is no better than a piece of paper.

Yet another institution— the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM))—is also in the thick of controversy over its unfounded tall claims. It is also awarding degrees without any recognition by the UGC or the AICTE. Inviting students for MBA/BBA and other degrees, the IIPM claims about ‘international degree’, ‘globally accepted degrees’ from ‘International Management Institute, Europe’.

To overcome legal complications, the IIPM, however, clarifies in the last line of its advertisements in very fine print that “the IIPM conducts its own programmes in planning & Entrepreneurship (a non-professional course) and does not teach any foreign institute’s courses.

International Management Institute, Europe, awards it globally renowned MBA/BBA degrees in recognition of excellence of IIPM programme, and does not come under the purview of the AICTE, UGC or other state acts.”   

While the open loot of students continues by the ICFAI and other similar institutions with impunity, the Higher and Technical Education departments are not bothered about the big racket being run right under their nose.

It is alleged that the ‘education mafias’ have been running fake institutions in connivance with some government officials, who are involved in the racket in one way or the other.