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QUESTION NO.1964 INFORMATION OF FAKE FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES

December 05, 2019

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1964
TO BE ANSWERED ON 05.12.2019

INFORMATION OF FAKE FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES

1964. DR PRABHAKAR KORE

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether it is a fact that the instances of Indian students enrolling in fake foreign universities are on the rise;

(b) whether Government has identified the issues faced by several Indian students abroad after foreign institutes they enrolled in, turns out to be fake;

(c) whether Government proposes to set up a portal to help students seeking admission in foreign universities to identify the genuineness of such universities; and

(d) if so, the details of the proposed portal and other steps taken by Government to help Indian students enrolling in foreign universities?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) There is no evidence to suggest that instances of students enrolling in fake foreign universities are on the rise.

However, some instances where Indian students have unwittingly enrolled in fake foreign universities have come to Ministry’s notice during the period 2016-2018 from USA, UAE, Switzerland, Suriname and Czech Republic. In most of the cases the Universities were operating without the requisite permission and approval from the host Government.

(b) Indian Missions/Posts closely coordinate with local authorities and provide all possible assistance to the affected students, including facilitation of their voluntary departure to India. The Education officer in the Mission regularly meets the students. The Missions/Posts also issue advisories to warn students about fake universities. Some Missions/Posts share the link of the list of genuine universities on their website so that students may apply to these universities only. Social media platforms to sensitize the Indian students about the fake universities are also utilized.

(c) & (d) Yes. The Ministry, in consultation with various stakeholders including MHRD, MoH&FW, Medical Council of India, Association of Indian Universities, University Grants Commission etc. is in the process of developing a Global Indian Students Portal. In addition, following steps have been taken by the Ministry and our Missions/Posts abroad to help Indian students:

(i) To safeguard the interest of Indian students going abroad, Ministry has developed a "Students Registration Module” within the MADAD portal to create a database of Indian students going abroad. It enables Indian students abroad to register voluntarily and provide data about their courses, location, institution, duration of the course, etc. Also, a separate category of grievances (e.g. related to fake universities; fraudulent educational consultants/agents; safety and security of students etc.) for the Indian students abroad has been created on the portal.

(ii) Officials of the Missions/ Posts regularly visit local universities and colleges to meet Indian students to address their issues. Student Welfare officers of Indian Missions are constantly in contact with Indian students association and University administrations. There are informal group of students on social media to disseminate information about students related issues in many countries. Such groups are in touch with student welfare officers. Advisory on "dos and don’ts” in foreign countries, including issues related to fraudulent agents are issued by Indian Missions, which are placed on the website of the Mission.

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