Phoney tutorials fleece mofussil students

Phoney tutorials fleece mofussil students


The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has so far received only a few complaints that have set out in detail the manner in which these tutorials, some of which are even registered with the department, are luring in and fleecing students from the rural areas.
The tutorials, DTE sources disclosed to Deccan Herald, project the so-called departmental registration as legitimate recognition of being mainstream engineering. Suffice it to say that there are only three DTE registered tutorials in Bangalore. In this context, sources admitted that there could be “any number” of unregistered tutorials offering bogus engineering courses.

It may take some time before the DTE resorts to a crackdown on these “questionable” tutorials. But officials are putting together the modus operandi of the tutorials before they take action against them. Sources said the tutorials offer both four-year engineering degree as well as shorter duration diploma courses in aeronautical engineering, electronics and communication, mechanical engineering and a variety of other subjects.
Students are attracted by way of glossy brochures of the institutions and newspaper advertisements in neighbouring states which form the source for prospective enrolments. According to sources, the tutorials charge hefty fee for the prospectus.
Directorate officials said a number of students are actually enrolled in correspondence courses, although they are under the impression that they are admitted to regular engineering courses that would fetch them a legitimate degree.

In one case, a tutorial called Vignaan Institute of Aeronautical Engineering and Information Technology, which is registered with the DTE, has taken over 150 students for a ride. Most of the students hail from districts in Andhra Pradesh such as Adilabad, Nellore and Mehboobnagar, besides Bellary in Karnataka. The case of Vignaan Institute was recently brought to the DTE’s notice, following which the “management” is suspected to have absconded.

Some of the duped students have paid upward of Rs 1.5 lakh for the courses for the first couple of semesters. Vishnuvardhan, a third semester student of aeronautical engineering at the institute, said hardly any classes were conducted since he took admission and it was not known when results would be declared.
“I saw an advertisement in a newspaper in Nellore and joined the institute. But there have hardly been any classes and the results have not been announced and I have paid Rs 1.3 lakh. When we asked the directorate, we found out that the institution was not recognised,” he said.

Another student, Mutahar, said “we saw our results online and got to know that all of us from the institute had failed and when we asked for the recognition papers the management were evasive. We want our money back now.” Mutahar added that the students were also promised a larger campus and infrastructure, which never materialised.

DTE Curriculum Development Cell Joint Director C R Krishnamurthy insisted that action can be taken only if a written complaint is made. “Once a complaint is received, we will constitute a committee and conduct an inquiry,” he said.
In another case, a tutorial by the name of Bangalore Institute of Aeronautical Engineering and Technology at Nagarbhavi offered admission to some students from Andhra Pradesh. It has since been blacklisted and shut down after the DTE received a written complaint against it.

Directorate officials said there is a legal provision for registration of tutorials under the Karnataka Education Act. But it was only as recently as 2006 that the first tutorial was registered. According to directorate sources, punitive action has yet to be taken against the tutorials since they claim to offer informal courses.

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