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UGC lists 23 ‘bogus’ Indian universities, state govts taken a back over their existence

Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of unapproved universities, will be asked to expedite action

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Courtesy: Pixabay.com

New Delhi, March 22, 2017: The Indian higher education regulator has listed 23 ‘bogus’ universities. They are not approved to grant degrees or diplomas. But, most state governments contemplated why these names were on the list since the institutes either don’t exist or have shut down.

Numerous institutes come up without meeting the requirements and offer degrees. That results to cheating, the UGC stated, asking the state governments to initiate action.

But the fake list has surged a controversy. Bihar’s higher education council (SHEC) vice chairman Kameshwar Jha accused the UGC of tarnishing the state’s image by putting on the list Maithili University or Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga.

He stated that from two decades, no such university prevailed in the state, and including the name of a non-existent institution on the list is correspondent of maligning the state.

“When the institution was declared illegal over two decades ago, I don’t see any point in mentioning it on the fake list year after year. It only earns Bihar a bad name,” he said.

Bihar is already struggling to redeem its image post incidents of mass cheating, especially after it got engulfed last year in a massive exam fraud that was exposed when its class 12 toppers failed to answer rudimentary questions during a media interaction.

Officials in Uttar Pradesh, another state notoriously known for high instances of education frauds, have stated that six universities were on the fake list that don’t exist but were offering degrees. They admitted that no in-depth investigation was done on the UGC alert.

The only fraudulent university in Maharashtra — Raja Arabic University in Nagpur — is a residential madarsa or Islamic seminary.

“We run a residential madarsa with 240 students,” said Maulana Mehmood Rizvi Khan, who heads the institute. He had apologised to the UGC for ‘claiming’ the seminary as a university.

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Similarly, St John University in Kerala has been functioning for the past 15 years in Kishannattamk, a place that does not exist.

“We have no idea about this. And nobody has registered any compliant,” said an education ministry official. The UGC had sent reminders about this university.

Of the two bogus institutes on alternative medicine in West Bengal, one is running with a different name and the other is functioning.

The Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine has apparently altered into the Indian Board for Alternative Medicine after its name was mentioned on the UGC’s 2009 list. The state government has not taken any action for its closure.

“We received a notice from the UGC last year, but before we could reply our name was on the list,” stated Jayanto Bhattarcharji, founder of the Institute of Alternate Medicine and Research, which is on the list.

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The institute was affiliated to the Kolkata-based Alternative Medical Council, he stated.

The Union human resource development ministry aims to send reminders to all states to submit a report on actions taken against bogus universities and technical institutions.

Mahendra Nath Pandey, junior HRD minister, said: “We have been sending letters to the states as fake institutes are jeopardizing the careers of innocent students.”

Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of unapproved universities, will be asked to expedite action.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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UGC Issues Guidelines to Higher Education Institutions across India to Impose Ban on Single-Use Plastic

The guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it

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The rugs manufacturer and exporter emphasises green and responsible production using non-polluting manufacturing practices and conservation of energy and materials as far as possible. Pixabay

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic.

The move comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a mass revolution against single-use plastic from October 2, which will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The guidelines state that the institutions should systematically ban the use of plastic on their campuses and replace it with “environment friendly substitutes.” It also mandates that every higher education institution in the country should ban single-use plastics in canteens, hostels and shopping complexes in the institution’s premises.

“Carry out awareness drives and sensitisation workshops on the harmful impacts of single-use plastics, mandate all students to avoid bringing non-bio-degradable plastic items to the institution, install necessary alternative facilities like water units to avoid the use of plastic,” the guidelines state.

UGC, Plastic, Ban
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines to higher education institutions across the country to impose a ban on single-use plastic. Pixabay

The UGC guidelines also ask the institutions to encourage the students to sensitise their respective households about the harmful effects of plastics and make their households ‘plastic-free’. The guidelines are an effort to encourage the universities and colleges to adopt policies and practices towards cleaner and plastic-free campuses.

The guidelines also ask the higher education institutions, which have adopted villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, to undertake a campaign in their adopted villages till they are converted into ‘plastic-free villages’ through promoting awareness and encouraging shift to alternative products.

The higher education regulator, while issuing the guidelines, said that plastic waste has emerged as one of the biggest environmental concerns adversely impacting the soil, water, health and well-being of citizens at large and that time has come for a systematic campaign to reduce the usage of plastics.

It added that the educational institutions have the unique spread and influence to educate the students and households on the need to avoid the usage of plastics.

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Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day speech had urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic, besides suggesting that shopkeepers should provide eco-friendly bags to the customers.

Subsequently, in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” address, Modi had said that the time has come for the citizens to join hands in curbing single-use plastic. (IANS)