KOCHI: It’s admission time for various higher education courses including professional courses and many temporary offices have sprung up in the state as information centres of universities in foreign countries like Russia, Moldova and China to woo students to join MBBS or equivalent courses.
As the competition among these foreign universities has intensified, police have sounded an alert that many fraudsters are on the prowl targeting parents who are keen to send their wards to foreign universities for studying medical degree courses.
Kochi Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar said people who have suspicion on the activities of any such private education consultancy should immediately alert the police. “We will take necessary action once we get complaints against such fraudulent agencies,” he said.
Every year, quite a few students from Kerala seek admission in medical courses in universities in Russia and China. Now, universities from countries like Moldova, Armenia and Georgia have also come forward to woo students from Kerala.
Station House Officer (SHO) S Vijayashankar of Kochi City Central police station said many fake agencies make use of the admission season to make money.
“We are doing our best in monitoring the activities of the consultants. People need to be alert and check with the university concerned about the authorisation status of the agency which they are dealing with,” he said. The fraudulent agencies collect money from the candidates and usually do not hand over the prescribed amount to the university or the college.
“This lands the candidate in trouble when the college refuses to accept him/her saying that it hasn’t received the prescribed amount. There have also been instances of these agencies found to be in collusion with fraudsters based in the respective country,” Vijayashankar said.
When the Kochi information office of Smolensk State Medical University, Russia, was contacted, it said it had been getting a lot of enquiries from parents in Kerala.
Staff members also claimed and that the office was directly opened by the Russian Medical University to attract students from Kerala. Similarly, an agent of an information office, which claims to be established directly by Nicolae Testimitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Moldova, in Kerala, said they were just passing on the details about the university to the students and all admissions are directly handled by the university itself.
As per the Medical Council of India (MCI), an Indian student who clears the MBBS or equivalent courses in universities in Russia, China, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova should clear a qualifying examination conducted by the National Board of Examination for getting the MCI recognition to practise in India. Reports say over 80 per cent of the candidates from medical colleges in China and Russia fail to clear the test conducted by National Board of Examination.