Survey alarm on educational fraud

KOLKATA, Feb 11, 2015

A survey conducted by the detective department of Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar Police has revealed that education-related frauds have seen exponential growth in the past two years.

While the most common form of fraud is that of promising seats — in premier schools, colleges and universities for a price — fly-by-night educational institutes with no proper accreditation are raking in the moolah as students and their guardians continue to be misinformed.

An agent's arrest on Sunday is just the latest in the series of education-related frauds in Bengal. The agent had demanded Rs 42 lakh as donation for a seat at a Jadavpur-based medical college. His method is a popular way of defrauding candidates, said a source.

Two major gangs were busted — one by Kolkata police and another by Bidhannagar police — after each offered seats at the postgraduate level in medical colleges in Bengal and Karnataka. The price of each seat was pegged at anywhere between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1 crore, the sources said.

The city was also part of a nation-wide educational fraud to the tune of Rs 5000 crore. The enforcement directorate and the Sikkim police got in touch with their Bengal counterparts in a clear money-laundering case by a management institute that is based out of Sikkim. The institute had branches in Kolkata and other parts of India like Delhi and Mumbai. For 2009-'10, the Sikkim government granted it permission to run 46 courses under the private university act. The institute was allowed to operate only in Sikkim and offer courses approved by the University Grants Commission. However, flouting all norms, the institute started operating 5,000 branches across India, including in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. According to sources in ED, the institute does not have the permission to start distance learning courses, though it operated that way too.

Things are such now that the Bidhannagar detective department now wants to probe the role of a few private medical and engineering colleges in running a fake institute that has been duping aspirants for the past four years with main accused, Partho Guha, allegedly at the helm of affairs.

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