OTV busts fake certificate racket in capital city

Bhubaneswar: A sting operation done Odisha’s premier news channel OTV has ripped open the best kept secret in Odisha: a fake certificate racket that has been flourishing in the capital city for years right under the nose of the authorities of the education department.

‘Operation Duplicate’, the special investigation conducted by OTV, has revealed that there are a host of organisations in the city providing fake certificates of various courses for a price. The most worrying fact that has emerged in the course of the investigation is that students do not even have to take the trouble of appearing in an examination to obtain a degree of their choice.

The institutes which were trapped in the net cast by OTV’s sting operation are OSBM Institute at Janpath Tower, IEMS located at Satyanagar, IET situated at Saheed Nagar, Subhashree Academy located at Satyanagar, Sun Institute, Bibekananda Institute and Satyavihar Institute.

While OSBM Institute is providing MBA degrees for Rs 70,000 and allowing students to indulge in malpractice with impunity during the examination, IET is providing the same degree at Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. Another fake institute, IEMS is offering certificates of three other state boards with a ‘guaranteed’ minimum of 60 per cent marks. As if that was not enough, it is also providing back dated graduation certificates.

An official of OSBM Institute, who got trapped by OTV, said “If the candidate does not want to appear in the test, he has to pay some money at the examination centre and they will make some alternate arrangements.”

Similarly an official of IET said, “We are offering MBA degrees of four-five universities at Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000. If you want the certificate in back date, you will get it within two months. If you want to do MBA in the current session, it will take two years to get the certificate,” he further added.

“We guarantee 60 per cent mark, but students are securing 70-80 per cent marks. You can also get back dated graduation certificate from our institute,” an official of IEMS said.

A Subhashree academy official said, “As soon as you deposit money, you will get the certificate. Many candidates have taken certificates and there is no problem in it.”

“If you pay the money in one go, you will get the certificate in one and a half months. If the candidate does not want to appear in the test, we can also make arrangements for it,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the fake institutes have pulled their shutters down after the news was aired on OTV.

Expressing serious concern over the issue, School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra, said, “Earlier, I had asked the officials to collect all the data about the fake certificate racket from UGC and HRD. Besides, I have ordered stringent action against the institutes, which have done fake registration.”

“We will take help of the Crime Branch to probe the matter, if needed,” Mishra added.

Echoing a similar view, Higher Education minister Pradip Panigrahi, said, “If you forward the list of the fake certificate rackets operating in the city to us, we will take action against them after inquiring into incident.”