Chennai: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has cautioned students and the public about 24 ‘self-styled’ universities which are fake ones. In its notice on Tuesday, the UGC said, “at present 24 self-styled and unrecognised institutions are functioning in contravention of the UGC Act in various parts of the country. These universities have been declared fake and are not entitled to confer any degrees.”
However, M. Anandakrishnan, former chairman, IIT Kanpur and former Vice-Chancellor, Anna University, said, “It has become the ritual for UGC to release the list of fake universities. They could have used their powers to close them down and penalise them. UGC should constitute a committee to investigate the fake institutions.”
“Earlier the fake institutions were around 12. Now, the numbers have increased to 24 and many fake universities from the old list also still featuring in the new list,” he said adding that a lot of innocent students are being lured by these fake institutions.
UGC former Vice-Chairman H.Devaraj said that the best option for the commission is to caution the students about the fake universities as the fine amount was too small. “UGC has not revised fine amount for fake institutions and the fine amount still is Rs.1,000. We need assent from the Parliament to increase the fine. Filing the police complaint and pursuing cases across the country is also financially not the viable option for the UGC,” he said.
Working professionals are alone lured by these institutions. “Before joining any private universities, the students or working professionals should verify the list of fake universities released by UGC,” he suggested.
Eight of the fake universities on the list are in and around Delhi. Remaining 16 universities are spread across states like Karnataka, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.
Sree Bodhi Academy of Higher Education in Pondicherry also features in the list. However, the university website said it has been legally closed since December 15, 2016 as per the order of higher education and technical education of Puducherry Government.