Manav Bharti University allegedly Sold 4.5 Lakhs Degrees, APG Shimla 15,000

13 Private Universities allegedly Sold over 18 Lakhs fake degrees in the last 10 years

UGC can cancel University’s approval if they are violating norms, but who’s stopping commission?

Shimla: A fake degree scam involving two private universities from the Himachal has come to the fore. As per an anonymous letter to UGC, around 4,65,000 fake degrees were allotted by the Shimla based APG University and Manav Bharti University, Kumarhatti in Solan district.

Putting a question mark on the functioning of the APG Shimla University, the letter revealed

“The University has not sold degrees this year but has sold more than 15000 Degrees for almost all the courses they have been offering in the campus. Even the course where seats are limited, they have sold Degrees which are restricted by the Statutory Bodies Like AICTE, NCTE, BCA etc.”

Anonymous letter to the UGC, exposing the scam of Manav Bharti University, read

Manav Bharti University, Solan, sold more than 4.5 lakh degrees during the last 7 years with the help of agents in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal and South India. It never informed the HP Private Universities Regulatory Authority that it had sold so many degrees.”

The Manav Bharti University was earlier as well accused of wrongdoing and even fined by the regulatory commission a few years back.

As per information, an anonymous to the University Grants Commission (UGC) of August 2019 had claimed of Fake Degrees issued by the 18 Private Universities.

Who’s stopping UGC from taking Action?

To ascertain the truth, UGC had written to the state higher education. The authority has initiated its probe and sought details of degrees from the Universities. If found guilty, affiliation of these Universities can be cancelled. The UGC has already declared 23 universities as self-styled and unrecognized.

Opposition Congress sought clarification from Govt, Demands closure of Universities

Meanwhile, opposition Congress blamed the state government for raised doubts over the functioning of the government and doubted the involvement of the government and the regulator. Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri sought clarification from the BJP led Govt for not taking stringent action against them. Agnihotri said the UGC had pointed out the sale of degrees in August 2019 and written to the Regulatory Commission for a thorough inquiry but no action was taken. Congress state president Kuldeep Singh Rathore has also demanded an inquiry into the scam and demanded the closure of the universities. He also doubted the involvement of powerful people in this scam.

University can award only specified Degrees: UGC  

The UGC is also facing another type of problem in the authentication of the Degree as many Universities/Institutions are running unspecified degrees, which are not listed on the consolidated list of the UGC. To sort out the issue, UGC, on 20 January 2020, has cautioned the Universities to award UGC approved Degrees only. The UGC notice read that the ‘University can award degrees only within the framework of Section 22 of the UGC Act’ and Degrees, which are not listed in its consolidated list won’t be legal. UGC observed that the Universities/institutions are awarding unspecified degrees, which are leading to the litigations and causing problems to the students. UGC directed the Universities to approach UGC six months prior to the starting of the degree programme with full justifications if Universities wishes to award a degree other then specified Degree by the UGC.        

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.