When is a Degree Not a Degree?

     Unaccredited bodies providing degrees of no worth
Illegally obtained Degrees are so widespread in India

The widespread of educational institutions and the diverse disciplines and new courses launched every now and then has made the validity of the degrees they bestow a big concern. The plethora of regulatory agencies also adds to the confusion. One should be always careful when planning higher education or course. Education has become a jungle and we are being eaten alive by unscrupulous animals.
The question one need to ask to oneself before getting enrolled in any course or college is ‘Is my degree valid? ‘A degree primarily serves three purposes. It is proof of you possessing knowledge in a particular field, it’s a useful tool to convince your employers about your suitability for a job and finally, it is a passport to higher studies. It’s for the latter two purposes that validity matters.
Accreditation is an incredibly important facet of your education. Before choosing an institute, it is important that you have a clear picture of exactly who accredits it and what that accreditation means for your future. Without accreditation, you will find yourself with degree employers do not respect.
According to the UGCAct 1956, universities can award degrees only if they are established under the central, provincial or state Act. Deemed institutes established underSection 3 of the UGC Act are only eligible to award degrees. On the other hand, institutions that are specifically empowered by an Act of Parliament are eligible to confer degrees to students.There are some degrees like LLB, BPharma, Dpharma, BEd ,BAMS, BHMS etc driven by the councils and they are also under the prerogative of  UGCor AICTE or State Board and they are only conducted through regular mode with70% class attendance. It is a known fact to everyone but many of the top govt officials, Human resource professionals, Corporate Heads, and Faculty member complete their LAW degree while in Job. The big question arises on how authentic is their degree. Similarly, many of the pharmacy professionals obtain their pharmacy degree while working in a medical shop or doing other work. 
  Even if wetalk about B.Ed degree, it is done by housewives, working teachers, woman working professionals who want to switch career after marriage or kids and similar reasons. Irony is that none ofthe council has taken this seriously and if this is mapped with working tenure and degree tenure of the professional’s lacs of people needs to be booked under420 case and most of the institutions will be under radar for providing degree. 

Some of the Facts as per the law are–  ·    
   No University can start study center out of the campus. ·     
  No regular exam can be conducted out of the campus. ·      
  For regular degree at least 70% attendance is mandatory, special consideration is provided for sports quota, medical emergencies or any similar situation otherwise exams are not allowed. ·      
  For distance education, enrollment only within the state is allowed and also exams also within the state is permitted.·      
  For online degree, recorded classes are supposed to be done using a LMS. ·     
  For Degrees like law, pharmacy, medical, B.Ed, healthcare courses etc additional affiliation with the respective councils is mandatory and without that affiliation, degree would not be considered valid. ·      
  For Technical courses like Btech, and M-tech, diplomas are to be carried only in regular mode, no Online, distance options are allowed in these courses. ·      
Any institution giving a diploma, certificate, degree alike programs without any affiliation directly from UGC, AICTE or AnyUniversity can be fake.·      
  If any institutions provide regular degree from a private university from the state or out of the state may be illegal, it needs to recheck because no private university can operate out of the campus.·      
  If any institution does not mention the university name on degree or mentions some international university name, you need to put your suspicion cap on and need to recheck it again. In India no foreign university is allowed to operate alone without any local university partner. There is no case where u can do 1 year here in private coaching and other years in that university. ·      
Recheck on AICTE/ UGC portal whether the institute through which you obtain your degree is affiliated or not. Other points one must be aware or keep in mind when you go for a degree
One must ask for academic counseling and track career placement services record of the institute.·      
Check testimonials from alums. ·      
Don’t be fooled by a name: There are instances of schools using misspellings or changing University to College to try to scam students. ·      
 Be super cautious if the institute is super pushy, particularly about financial aid packages that they “offer.” ·      
Check the List of fake universities published by UGC from time to time

The concluding remark

The situation can only be remedied by a comprehensive policy change. Secondly, student beware! Make sure to go in with your eyes open and don’t become a prey of the system. Moreover, UGC, AICTE and Council needs to take up this seriously and Education ministry should come up for a policy for this because all these are professional degrees and lot of people expectations depend on this or Govt should start some work integrated degrees for these department also.

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