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They make big bucks by peddling degrees

A plethora of private engineering and management colleges have sprung up in Gurgaon over the last five years.

gurgaon Updated: Mar 29, 2012 01:52 IST
Deevakar Anand
Deevakar Anand
Hindustan Times

A plethora of private engineering and management colleges have sprung up in Gurgaon over the last five years. But rather than providing quality education, many of them charge hefty fees and provide no placements — leaving gullible students in the lurch. A large number of students who had taken education loans — as the fee structure in most of these institutes is high — stares at the prospect of unpaid EMIs.

Gurgaon has about 24 management and educational institutes by the private sector. The total intake for the MBA/BBA and engineering courses in the city is 10-12,000 annually.

The institutes lure students through newspaper advertisements highlighting their ‘air-conditioned’ classrooms and ‘sprawling’ campuses, but the grim reality is that most of them are just money minting enterprises, with some of them functioning from dingy small rooms. While some of the institutes charge a whopping R6-7 lakh for MBA and R3-4 lakh for engineering, most of them do not have a placement cell.

AICTE chairman Dr SS Mantha said, “Yes, to an extent, a lot of colleges have become money minting enterprises. But we are doing our best to address the problem (See interview).”

There’s also a lack of intent by these institutes to conduct good industry exposure programmes. “I was lured by the false promises of the institute about placements. After a few days, I realised I was conned. The faculty was inexperienced and there was hardly any industry interaction,” said a student, who paid R6 lakh for an MBA degree from one such college.

“I cannot even pay the EMIs of the education loan I took as my salary is not sufficient,” he said, adding that he’s working for a paltry salary of R12,000 per month.

Besides, there are hundreds of MBA and engineering institutes running as franchisees of other universities across India. They just don’t offer ‘prestigious’ degrees, but promise “good marks” also.

“We can help you pass your MBA with a good percentage of marks. But that will cost extra,” assured a consultant at one such institute to the HT reporter who posed as a prospective student.

Though all these colleges are recognised by the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE), experts believe getting approval from AICTE is more of a formality.

“If you can show them a building, a few classrooms, you get recognition. After that, colleges are on their own to decide the curriculum, faculty and quality of books,” said the director of a reputed business school in Gurgaon.

CS Nagpal, director of a city-based technology and management college, said, “Most of the students at such colleges scored 30-40% in qualifying exams. Since they can’t get admission in a good college, they fall prey to fake promises.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2012 01:50 IST