India’s academic sector has been shocked by the news of the sale of fake degrees by one of its renowned universities, Manav Bharti University (MBU). MBU reportedly sold 36,000 fake degrees over 11 years for prices ranging from of 100,000 to 300,000 rupees (US$1,362-4,085), as reported by South China Morning Post. A special team of investigators in India found that of the 41,000 degrees issued by the university, so far only 5,000 are authentic.
This case is claimed to be India’s largest educational fraud case, which went viral in February 2021. Trak.in reported that MBU has been involved in a massive fraud since 2009. The Himachal Pradesh government gave Manav Bharti Charitable Trust permission to run the university in 2009 after initially rejecting a proposal related to this in 2008. Investigation on this case began after an anonymous report was made to the University Grants Commission.
Raj Kumar Rana, the chairman of Manav Bharti Charitable Trust, which runs MBU, has been the main defendant in the fake degree fraud, Edexlive.com reported.
Educational background check
This case of certificate falsification has also influenced the vigilance of other countries, one of which is Singapore. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating 15 individuals who have declared qualifications from MBU in their work permit applications.
MOM reminded that employers have the main responsibility to ensure the authenticity of the educational qualifications of the foreign workers they hire. The education background check procedure in Singapore is quite strict. MOM also conducts its own background check after employers submit academic documents of their prospective employees.
One door verification
This huge scandal is only the tip of the iceberg, which sparked public skepticism about the integrity of educational institutions. Educational institutions that carry out their functions honestly need to make more efforts to prove their integrity and maintain their reputation.
One of the efforts that can be taken is to verify the educational documents of their alumni. In practice, however, document verification by telephone, email and fax is often inefficient.
A one-stop verification platform is the answer to this problem. Through a one-stop verification platform such as www.education-verification.com, the document verification process will be more efficient in terms of time and resources. In Education Verification platform, the name of the verifier is recorded in the system, which maintains accountability in the verification process. Moreover, the verification is done in a two-step process: verification by the academic staff and confirmation by a supervisor, which promotes a check-and-balance process. All results can be accounted for and are guaranteed to be accurate.