Fake PhD degrees exploiting education
It was from the delineation of the famous satirist Syed Mujtaba Ali that once a horse rider was riding along a city and suddenly his eyes caught the sight a bit away of a hanging signboard written "PhD degrees are sold here".
The wanderer wasted no time getting down and bought a PhD for him. On the way suddenly he thought it would be better if his horse owned a PhD and so, came back to purchase another PhD for his horse. Certainly, this tale is satirical but has some implications regarding hunting PhD as has been a fashion for many in these days.
Obviously, none will deny the statement that education is the backbone of a nation. Can we imagine a strong backbone without quality education and research? Actually standard research is the gateway to ensure sustainable education for a country. The developed countries in the world are found to be stick to maintaining the research principles and any person deviating these principles may be faced not only academic degradation but also imprisonment for a certain time.
It is worrying in many countries that not only research principles are being manipulated but also fake certificates are sold rampantly making a drastic threat for a nation and the education system. But can we think who are responsible behind this academic corruption? The academics in a country are supposed to uplifting the moral amid the generation but it is regretted when they are found associated with immoral activities.
It is an open secret that the appointment of university teachers in most cases gets corrupt in the country. Revealing allegations to university authority in appointing teachers has been common to notice in the country.
In many cases, less qualified candidates are recommended for recruitment that may accelerate academic recession as they secure the post giving bribes; their only intention is to make money discarding academic norms and values. They may be the mechanics of many fake activities.
Undoubtedly, fake PhD hunters are on the increase. Report says that apart from teaching professionals, a number of people including government employees, lawyers and many officials, etc are the clients interested to purchase fake PhDdegrees. Two reasons are working behind this.
Firstly, they want to add the prefix Dr before their name and another one is to get promoted or heighten their careerprospective. This is pertinent to ask; will the society be benefitted with so many PhD degree holders hunting degreesadopting unfair means. The answer is quite negative as it will do nothing but exploit the country's education tarnishing our image before the global community.
According to a recent report, over the years several dozen institutions have sold PhD and MPhil degrees in the country at taka 1.5 to 2.5 lakh. Most of the institutions who provide fake degrees claim themselves brand from Malaysia, England or Australia based world class universities. Apart from this, a huge number of frauds purchase PhD certificates in the name of online or distance learning.
According to UGC, fake degrees get detected when the degree holders approach to UGC for equating their degrees but in many cases the fake degree holders become alert and try to avoid the process. Though the UGC did not give any authority over any private or local branch of the foreign universities to offer MPhil and PhDdegrees, they are found dealing this illegally.
Many whoare relentless to pursue PhD are well aware that they are holding fake degrees but for gaining personal interest they want to prefix Dr to their name and a few who may be not aware and get cheated by the attractive advertisement of the fake institutions.
Things get a bit tougher when we see a number of anonymous ghost writers remain constant online to write academic papers for students and academics. Many fake individual researchers and their associates are related with this corrupt deals and the aspiring Ph.D. degree seekers order by mail to the fraudulent writers to get their prepared thesis.
It is true that there are many aspired to get PhD have hardly any qualities to be rewarded. Consequently,they make money deals with somebody academically dishonest to complete their thesis papers. The corrupted academics not only help them write up thesis papers but also take initiatives to publish the thesis related articles in different insignificant journals.
In South Asian countries you may find huge open access journals rendering quick services for their clients. They are blind to whether the research papers areplagiarized or deviated from research paradigm, rather their only aim is to get them published in their journals and for this they take huge charge from the clients. In this deal two parties are benefitted. The clients are benefitted as their articles despite below the standardget published thusserving theirpurpose. The owners of journals have scopes for unethical education business.
It is one kind of fraud with education. The motto of education and research has been completely business - centric having hardly any scopes to contribute to the nation.
Over the last couple of years, dailies have exposed the news ofsomeacademic corruptions though many more remain unreported and untraced. Some teachersof therenowned universities in the country have been alleged for plagiarism and among them a few have beendischarged and some have got academic punishment but the number of the fraudsters are many than those we count.
However, shutting the unauthorized institutions associated with offering people fake PhD certificates may be not enough to stop educational exploitation. The academic fraudsters should be given exemplary punishment, who are exploiting the nation. People in general should be aware that PhD is not a thing for hunting rather a process of elevating knowledge that helps create new knowledge and enrich our education through quality research.
Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University