The Centre has asked the state governments, including Karnataka, to probe and file police complaint against fake universities identified by the UGC.
The HRD Ministry has also recently asked the states to prosecute the higher educational institutions involved in “defrauding and cheating” the students by misrepresenting themselves as universities and awarding degrees. The ministry’s recommendation for a crack down on the fake universities comes months after the UGC lodged an FIR against the Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) in wake of a Delhi High Court decision. Hearing a petition last year, the Delhi High Court had restrained the IIPM from using the words MBA, BBA or Management Course for its programmes, observing that the institute’s advertisement about its association with the International Management Institute (IMI), Brussels, was a “maze” created by it to “entrap students”.
The court also held that the acts of the IIPM, its director Arindam Chaudhari and his father Malay Chaudhari constituted a criminal offence of cheating punishable under Section 420 of the IPC. The UGC has identified as many as 21 fake universities— eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Delhi and one each in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.