Around 280 colleges in India have been declared fake by the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently.
What is a fake varsity?
By fake, it means that the varsities do not have permission to issue degree certificates to their students and that those certificates are not valid to secure a job or higher studies.
Delhi has highest fake institutes
Among the total states where fake universities are present, Delhi has been marked the fake capital with 66 colleges the highest number for any state in India, offering engineering and other technical courses without the regulator's permission.
There are 279 such technical institutes in the country. Out of the country's 23 fake universities, Delhi has seven of them according to the report released by the UGC.
As a warning sign cautioning students who are about to apply for the colleges, the UGC In an annual review, along with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) last month put out a list of such fake institutes on their websites.
"We send the list of unapproved and unregulated technical institutions to concerned state authorities for taking appropriate action against such institutions," an official said.
States that have lot of fake institutes
Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharasthra also have a sizable number of fake technical institutes.
Circular to schools
In order to make sure that students don't apply to such colleges, AICTE that regulates technical education has also issued notices to these schools warning them to not take its approval.
"Public notices are also published in newspapers cautioning the students not to take admission in such unapproved institutions," the official said.
Minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey told the Rajya Sabha recently that the ministry had written to state governments to investigate the matter and register police complaints against fake universities.
States have also been asked to initiate proceedings against those involved in defrauding and cheating students "by misrepresenting themselves as 'universities' awarding degrees with their name", Pandey told the Rajya Sabha.
Fake university details
The problem of fake institutes is widespread and is getting increasingly lucrative, as more students look for higher education to improve their job prospects.
The details of fake universities and fake technical institutes are available on the UGC website www.ugc.ac.in and AICTE website www.aicte-india.org.