Innocent Students, Anxious To Get A Degree, Cheated
‘A little learning is a dangerous thing,’ wrote Alexander Pope. To turn that phrase on its head, ‘getting’ that little learning is now a dangerous thing. The newspapers are full of the story about a gang, in North-East Delhi, who duped many desperate and needy youngsters wishing to better themselves.
Such was the fraudsters’ success, till they were caught, that they managed to cheat aspiring students of more than 1 crore rupees! A couple of other surprising facts are their relative youth and the involvement of a several young girls.
The story also puts the education industry, in India, in a sorry light. The difficulties and bureaucratic hurdles to getting an education loan are huge. So much so students, and their parents, are forced to explore dubious and unsecure avenues to fund their hopes and dreams.
The competition for seats is also huge. With almost 14 million youngsters seeking entry into university every year the pressures multiply if finance is a problem. They are then susceptible to all sorts of false claims and scams by unscrupulous people.
Students are at risk from other types of education fraud. They often pay a ‘donation’ or capitation fee to get into institutions of doubtful pedigree. Only to find out later that the degrees are not recognised by the Education Ministry and the University Grants Committee.
Checking, carefulness and a good dose of caution should be the three Cs for hopeful young students. Fraudsters and their schemes are everywhere. The thing is not to become their victims.