The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a state-wise list of 21 fake universities for the benefit of students. Its notice said these “self-styled and unrecognized institutions, functioning under the contravention of the UGC Act are declared as fake, and are not entitled to confer any degrees.”
The UGC is the apex body for higher education in India and periodically comes out with a list of fake universities.
According to the latest list, six of these universities are in Delhi, while Uttar Pradesh topped the list with nine fake universities.
The UGC Act states that only a university established by a central/state law or an institution deemed to be university under Section 3 of the Act is allowed to call itself a university. Any institution not adhering to this cannot use the term ‘university’.
The six fake universities in Delhi are Varanseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Commercial University, United Nations University, Vocational University, ADR-Central Juridical University and ADR-Central Juridical University.
According to the UGC’s investigation, these 21 universities are running several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that are not accredited by any authority.
In April, HRD minister Smriti Irani told Parliament that the UGC would take legal action against fake universities.
The agency has informed all unrecognised universities that any misleading advertisements by them would lead to legal action under the Indian Penal Code and UGC Act. A few cases have already been filed by the UGC.
Notices have also been sent to the heads of these universities, asking them to close down operations with immediate effect. In addition, the education secretaries of states have been asked to take action against the fake universities in their respective states.