Canadian employers of foreign workers especially those from India, China and other Asian countries are being warned of gangs specializing in providing fake degrees for those seeking jobs overseas.
India’s Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently conducting a nationwide probe after arresting six people possessing medical degrees from Russia and China and obtained recognition from Medical Council of India (MCI) through allegedly fraudulent means.
CBI said information pertaining to this scam was received and intelligence was developed before filing an reports against eight people who claimed they had medical degrees from Russia and China.
At least three of the doctors, who had allegedly got a forged registration from MCI, were working in government hospitals in Gujarat, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.
CBI conducted raids at the premises of a Meerut medical practitioner who was allegedly a conduit between MCI officials and the potential candidates coming from these countries.
According to CBI, the arrested people told its sleuths that they paid upto C$6,000 for getting registration from MCI.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, who was personally monitoring thes case, told PTI "this is a very important case as such people were playing with the lives of patients."
In Shillong, India last summer, police are investigating an Indian university suspected of issuing fake PhDs after it awarded more than 400 doctorates in a single year.
Police have arrested four senior officials from CMJ University in the northeastern state of Meghalaya on suspicion of fraud and forgery and were hunting for the chancellor, who has fled.
Credentials fraud is a serious problem in India, fuelled by a huge demand for qualifications, endemic corruption and poor regulation of the ultra-competitive and fast-growing education sector.
In 2011 a racket in fake airline pilot licences was exposed, while in 2010 police arrested the head of the national body responsible for certifying medical qualifications for allegedly accepting a bribe.
In the last two years, M S University (MSU) in Vadodara, Gujarat has come across 72 fake mark sheets and degree certificates, which were submitted to it for verification.
This has come to light following arrest of a Mumbai-based youngster, who was nabbed by the police with a fake degree and mark sheets of the university last week. The youngster - Ketan Valunj - was one such individual, who had personally approached the university officials to get a degree certificate and was nabbed when he produced fake mark sheets and other documents.
According to university officials, the university receives on an average of 250 applications a month for verification. "Since, we have started maintaining the verification register, a total of 72 such cases, where mark sheets or certificates were found to be fake, have surfaced," said a top official of the university.
"In most of these 72 cases, the candidates had submitted fake mark sheets or certificates while applying for a job. These mark sheets or certificates were sent to us for verification by private agencies based in Delhi and Mumbai, who handle the job of verification on behalf of their corporate clients," said the official.
At times, embassies also contact the university for telephonic verifications when they want an urgent verification of any candidate seeking immigration.
"A couple of months ago, Canadian embassy had contacted us to check genuineness of documents submitted by a youth for immigration purpose. After we informed the Canadian embassy that the documents submitted by the youth were fake and we had no records of such a student having studied at our university, the youth was stopped from flying to Canada," said the official.
India’s University Grants Commission (UGC) has identified and posted on its official website, a list of 21 self-styled, unrecognized institutions in nine states of India, which are functioning against the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956.
All these institutions have been declared as fake and do not have any right to confer or grant degrees.
The following 21 universities have been found to flout the UGC act and have been declared as fake universities:
Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar
Commercial University Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi
United Nations University, Delhi
Vocational University, Delhi
ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place,
Indian Institute of Science and Engineering, New Delhi
Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum
St. John's University, Kishanattam
Keserwani Vidyapith, Jabalpur
Raja Arabic University, Nagpur
D.D.B. Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichi, Tamil Nadu.
Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkata
Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi (UP) / Jagatpuri, Delhi.
Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women's University) Prayag, Allahabad (UP)
Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad (UP)
National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh (UP)
Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Kosi Kalan, Mathura (UP)
Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh (UP)
Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area, Khoda, Makanpur, Noida Phase- II, (UP)
Gurukul Vishwavidyalaya ,Vrindavan, Mathura, (UP).
Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow, UP (the matter is subjudice)
The UGC has advised students against pursuing higher education courses at any of the aforementioned institutions.