In the recent past, Mumbai police have cracked down on many fake degree cases and busted the gangs, whereas online fake degree trading is a real challenge to cyber crime police. These cases go unreported because the issuer of fake degrees is online and the receiver receives it secretly.
Vipin Kang, a pharmacist said, “More than half of the medical store owners and workers in India have a fake Bachelors of Pharmacy degree. It is common practice in India to “rent” your B.Pharm certificate to medical store owners if you are pursuing M.Pharm. You can make enough money to pay your living expenses while pursuing M.Pharm that way. Getting a fake degree, one which you can put on a public display without fear of getting caught, in India is as easy as paying USD 200 if you know the right source.”
There are many websites including “Quikr”, that trade certificates in bulk. If one has the budget to spend the demanded amount of money, they can get the qualification they wish to be. When we asked cyber crime police, the officer said on the condition of anonymity “We can act when we receive a complaint against such websites, but if it is only a fake degree case then the crime branch officers are doing their best. If the cases are false under the preview of IT act then we can surely act on it.”
A few days back Mumbai police arrested two persons Wajuddin Ali Khan (39) and Vicky Kumar Sharma (22), who had been making the bogus certificates for the last year. Cops said the accused sold each mark sheet for Rs 3,000. The officials said the accused scanned the original mark sheets and certificates and changed the names and years as per their client’s requirement, after which they handed over the colour printouts in return for Rs 3,000.
Nishant Verma a political analyst said, “Issuance of fake degrees is a big concern, only quality education can help society grow. Corruption is the core cause for such malpractices to flourish, which is universal and not only limited to India. The rampant issuance of fake degrees is due to a lack of accountability in the overall Education system. Most Universities involved in such scams have either received the ‘deemed’ status or are affiliated to a ‘deemed’ one. The Regulatory authority of education, such as UGC is unable to maintain the checks & balances, leading to such malpractices under the nose of Politicians, some of whom use their clout and permit Fake Degree Business for varied gains, especially while being in the ruling party.”
Nishant continued stating “In USA, there are instances in the past of Fatal Air Crashes, while Pilots obtained Licenses thru corrupt means – NTSB reports. Above all, it’s the people, who go for an easy way, exploiting the corrupt means, from obtaining a Fake Degree to a Fake Driving License, in order to bypass the set process. Although a degree doesn’t necessarily point to the expertise of the holder in a particular field, profession, occupation, ability, however, obtaining or issuance of a Fake Degree only reflects the Corrupt mindset of the public at large.”
Vaishali Mulay, a Businesswoman said, “Normally, degrees are verified with the issuing university when people are hired, or at least they’re supposed to be. “Fake degrees” are not only useless, but they are dangerous to one who might claim such a qualification. Companies certainly do check on people’s claimed degrees. Not immediately, of course. But a person who lies about having a degree will not be able to perform his job as well as one who actually had that education. No company will tolerate an employee who has been found dishonest about his background. Unfortunately, the scrutiny is not very strict, so the defaulters get caught but not immediately.”
Sujit Patker, a Mumbai businessman told Afternoon Voice said, “Fake degrees and certificates have been an alarming issue for a few years. There are so many institutes both national and international to sell these at a cost. Now, education as such has become a business where there is a buyer and a seller both hand in gloves. The whole business of education, especially when it comes to post-graduation degrees like PhD is a sham and bogus where I understand that candidates as buyers just give money and purchase certificates as read in newspapers. The governance is missing and there needs to be strict vigilance on such businesses. Ultimately, the respectable profession has lost its integrity. Noble professions like doctors, engineers, PhD holders are held high but these days there are credibility concerns. Education industry right from the inception of playschool level to super specialization is looked down upon as a business where corruption is infused as a donation and looked down as ROI (return over investment).”
Sangeeta Amladi, a former banker said, “Fake degrees are a real threat but companies are taking proper care of it. Worse, the lying employee will be discharged “for cause”. And that information will be given to any future prospective employer who calls to check on that job applicant. No details will be given, but being discharged for cause is the kiss of death for anyone’s candidacy for any other job. No other company will be willing to take a risk on such a person. When a company finds even a single item on a resume has been falsified, they will assume that nothing on the paper can be believed. And more importantly, that the individual cannot be trusted, with a job or even to be on company premises. There will be no opportunity to “explain” or “justify” or “correct” the misstatements.
Harin Naik, an IT professional said, “Back in the day, a colleague who was a VP at PWC was interviewing a candidate whose resume indicated an MBA from Harvard. The interviewer had also gone to Harvard business school and so to set the candidate at ease at the start of the interview, he engaged the candidate in informal chit-chat about life at Harvard. Except that the candidate didn’t seem to know the campus, which was odd. The interviewer excused himself, went to another room and called the Harvard registrar who had no record of the candidate attending Harvard. The interviewer returned to the room and let the candidate know that the interview was over and he was no longer under consideration for the job. But the question is that how many interviewers might be really catching the frauds? And how many fraudsters are really getting punished?”
Gaurav Singh, cyber security personal said, “Many small business groups especially it to the beauty industry, make or wellness, even for catering and hospitality display big certificates of achievements. Not only that but various certificates related qualifications. Customers generally don’t check the authenticity but they get influenced. You will find photographs of great politicians and actors morphed with them. There is no dearth of such frauds. What is needed is vigilance body and learned people.”
Dr Anshuman Manaswi, Senior Plastic Surgeon said, “The standard Allopathy or Modern Medicine degrees are MBBS, MS, MD, DNB and diplomas in various specialists. MBBS is the basic degree without which one cannot practice Allopathy. Let us be very clear that as per the MCI or NMC and the state medical commissions, no one else can practise allopathic medicine. The problem is that there is no agency allotted to check the fraudsters. One can see it everywhere. One can find advertisements of such fake courses everyone, but only the authorities can’t see. Ayush doctors, compounders, technicians, pathology technicians, medical shop owners, everyone is prescribing medicines. Is health on agenda only for namesake, is the question we shall have to ask ourselves? The solution lies in having strict punishment for anyone who is transgressing their field or limitation. A health care worker in Village should be checked if he/she is prescribing more than what is allowed. This along with a proper referral system and the development of health infrastructure is the solution. Even in speciality and super specialities, many doctors are practising things that are not in their domain. It’s a larger problem. How come liposuction a surgical procedure is done by Dermatologists, Gynaecologists, cosmetologists, oculoplastic surgeons? It is just the tip of the iceberg. Unless we have strict norms and divisions or subdivisions as each case may be ( with an exception for an emergency) we are doomed as far as the quality of healthcare is concerned. Let us not make life cheap in India.”
Khushi Mishra, a software developer said, “Many of them buy fake degrees nowadays rich kids mostly, who wants a reputed job which suits their family backgrounds and also many who need promotions or hike in the salary. But by using such fake degrees they have to face many problems because it’s a fake certificate.”
Saharsh Luniya, Businessman said “It happens widely in our country and it also takes a lot of money. What I have observed is that most then take a degree in one sector and then work in some other sector. This way they stay on the safer side. There are many who just require the degree for marriage purposes and then they just go on handling their business. One may take a degree in a core branch-like mechanical and then go on working in some branch-like production, etc. While it is easy to provide fake degrees to get a job, it is extremely unethical and wrong to do so. It has far reached consequences for your career.”
Arya Dhumane, Engineering Student said, “Personally, I know of a case where the guy joined one of my earlier employers in a leadership position and after a period of time his exit was announced out of the blue. Later, we learned that he had provided a fake Bachelor of Engineering – Computer Science certificate when he actually had only a Diploma. During background verification, this anomaly was found and as part of corrective action, the company decided to fire him. Think of it – a senior-level executive was fired for wrongly claiming to have a degree which he never had. The shock, the shame and the prospect of not getting a job easily (word goes around fast in the industry) is too much the risk for such kinds of unethical practices. Please don’t be under the impression once you get the job, you’ll be safe. The above example is a case in question. Also, anyone can complain against your degree (if they have prior information about the fake certificate) due to which the company management may conduct a thorough background verification that might bring out the truth.”