The University Grants Commission (UGC) deemed 24 "self-styled, unrecognised institutions" in India as 'Fake Universities'. The majority of these fake universities are operating from Uttar Pradesh followed by national capital New Delhi.
UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, in a notification, said, "Students and public are informed that currently 24 self-styled, unrecognised institutions are functioning in contravention of the UGC Act, which have been declared as fake universities and these are not empowered to confer any degree."
UGC, a constitutional body that came into being in 1956, is the ultimate authority of University education in India. It regularly conducts checks and inspection to ensure that the quality of education in all its approved universities is as per standards. As per Section 23 of the UGC Act, the use of the term 'University' is prohibited from being used, unless explicitly established as one as per Section 3 of the UGC Act.
Fake universities from Uttar Pradesh are - Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi; Mahila Gram Vidyapith, Allahabad; Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Allahabad; National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur; Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Open University, Aligarh; Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Mathura; Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh and Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Noida.
"Regarding Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow, the matter is sub-judice before district judge in Lucknow," added Jain.
Delhi's list of fake universities include Commercial University Ltd, United Nations University, Vocational University, ADR Centric Juridical University, Indian Institution of Science and Engineering, Vishwakarma Open University for Self-Employment and Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya (Spiritual University).
West Bengal and Odisha have two fake universities each - Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkata; Institute of Alternative Medicine and Research, Kolkata; Nababharat Shiksha Parishad, Rourkela and North Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Puducherry have one fake university each - Raja Arabic University, Nagpur; Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Karnataka; Christ New Testament Deemed University, Andhra Pradesh; St John's University, Kerala and Sree Bodhi Academy of Higher Education, Puducherry.
"The UGC Act, 1956 provides that a degree can be awarded, only by a university established under a central, state, provincial Act or an institution especially empowered by an Act of Parliament to confer the degree," the notification added.
Here's how to check if your institution is approved:
Before seeking admission, one must check the latest list of 'Fake Universities' and valid Universities on the UGC's official website.
Additionally, a degree awarded by a fake university will not be considered valid even if the name of the university is on the UGC website.