NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently released a list of fake universities which has for the sixth consecutive time named a non-existent ADR-Centric Juridical University. Another varsity was on the list last year as well. This throws light on how the apex regulatory body of higher education has been lax in acting on the erring institutions.
The bogus university has listed its address in Gopala Towers at Rajendra Place. However, a probe by The Sunday Standard revealed that a plant protection consultant firm has been functioning from the listed address for over eight years.
The ADR University is just one among the listed fake universities with false or no address at all in records with the UGC. Another institution, Commercial University Ltd., which according to UGC record is located in Daryaganj, is nowhere to be found. As per the website www.zaubaccorp.com, the Commercial University Ltd was public incorporated on May 21, 1949 and has registered address as Post Office Building in Daryaganj, which no longer exist.
“Our main concern is not whether these fake institutions are registered at the fake address, but the future of those thousands of students who apply to such varsities in hope to get degrees which are of no value at all,” said an official of Anti-Malpractice Cell of UGC.
Two other ‘universities’, Vishwakarma Open University for Self-Employment and Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya, with registered address in Jahangirpuri and Rithala respectively, however, say they are “non-academic” and should not be included in the list.
Over 1,500 students are enrolled with Vishwakarma Open University for Self-Employment, according to the institution's website, and they offer diploma in over 100 courses, promoting the Prime Minister’s Skill India programme.
“Since it's a non-academic institution the UGC should not have included our name in the list of fake universities, said Vijay Singh, founder director of the institution. “Only 3 per cent of the youth have access to higher education while the rest are ignored. UGC is alerting 97 per cent of the youth not to join non-UGC affiliated universities. It has no provision to channelise the talents and skill of the youth to make it an industrial country like China,” the institution wrote as a clarification to publications.
Singh also clarified on the use of the word ‘university’ in its institution's name stating that it is used with for “Self-Employment” and not singularly.UGC Act, 1956 under Section 22(1) provides that only a University established by a Central, State/ Provincial Act or an institution deemed to be university under section 3 or an institution especially empowered by an Act of Parliament to confer UGC specified degrees under section 22(3) of the Act. Further, section 23 of the UGC Act prohibits the use of word 'University' by any institutions other than a university established as stated above.
In a reply to the UGC, Adyatmik Vishwavidyalaya clarified that its name be taken out from the list because “it is nowhere mentioned in the UGC Act that the education include spiritual education” and “as per spiritual faith of applicants, the teaching in this University are given by the Supreme Soul Shiva i.e. God the Father Himself. Therefore, the body appointed by the Central government lacks jurisdiction in the university run by the God himself.” The institution also said after the High Court order, it dropped Vishwavidyalaya and change the name to Adhyatmik Vidyalaya that could be verified on their official website as well.
Other universities identified as fake include one each from Thilaspet (Puducherry), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Kishanattam (Kerala), Belgaum (Karntaka), Darbhanga (Bihar), and Aligarh, Kanpur, Pratapgarh and Mathura (UP).