Every year, before the academic session begins, the University Grants Commission (UGC) releases a list of fake universities that are functioning in India. For the past five years, there has hardly been any change in the list of 24 fake institutes, most of which are located in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. UGC’s list has names of eight fake universities in the national capital. We visited one of them — Vishwakarma Open University for Self Employment (VOUSE) — to check out the manner of its functioning. Operating out of a small room on the second floor of a dilapidated building near Mukarba Chowk since 1990, VOUSE claims 100 per cent placement and “affiliation” to over 80 institutes across the country.
Besides certificate courses, VOUSE claims to offer 81 diploma courses of one, two and three-year duration, claiming to cover a wide range of fields — from engineering, medical, journalism to plumbing and mobile repairing. It also offers 180 “specialised paramedical courses” including radio diagnosis and cardiac technology. The ‘university’ claims their successful alumni include actors like Saurabh Shukla and Hemant Mishra who have pursued mass communication from there. Despite the diploma and certificate courses that VOUSE claims to offer, the ‘university’ doesn’t — shockingly — have a curriculum for any subject. If you believe VOUSE director Vijay Singh Mahajan, the curriculum is designed by students themselves.