Pending govt ‘Act-ion’, fake institutes thrive

Proposed law to widen scope of checking illegal institutes will be introduced in the budget session: DTE

A law to empower higher education authorities to take action against fake institutions has been delayed, with the state government failing to introduce the draft of the law, drawn up in March, in the legislature.

Many unauthorised educations institutions are believed to be thriving in Maharashtra, particularly in educational hubs like Pune. As of now, education authorities do not have the powers to take action against unauthorised institutions. The proposed Maharashtra Prevention of Unauthorised Institution Act (MPUIA) aims at empowering competent authorities of the department to take action against institutions running without permission.

Yet another case surfaced last week in the city. A group of allied educational institutions — Maharashtra Education and Training Foundation, Maharashtra Education and Training Private Limited, and Maharashtra Education and Training Business School — allegedly ran B-school courses without valid permission and awarded fake MBA degrees. The matter came to light after two students registered a police complaint.

The state government had last March come out with the draft Act that stipulates fines between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh and even a jail term that may extend to a year for running unauthorised educational institution or courses.

According to experts, it would enforce the rule that institutions wanting to offer higher education to get prior permission from designated central bodies like the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI) and other authorities, besides the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) and Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) at the state level.

Educational institutions running technical, health, vocational, animal husbandry, dairy development and fishery courses among other streams are expected to follow these guidelines.

As per the proposed law, any complaint of unauthorised educational institutions can be registered with government officials at the level of joint director and deputy director of education. They would be the competent authority to hear grievances, while senior officials at the level of joint secretary and deputy secretary would be appellate authorities.

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