The following comment by a Pakistani NRI about heigher education system in his country is very illuminating for the frankness of its ideas especially about Fake degrees.
"I was really surprised to read that he could not find any “quality” Pakistani teachers teaching in foreign universities and even in the presence of “Foreign Faculty Hiring Program” he made his wish about bringing Iranian/Indian and in particular Indians to strengthen Pakistan higher education standard. Probably he was trying to be more “enlightened” as has been the case in some elite sections of our society nowadays that in every aspect of life they compare Pakistan with India and portray India and Indians as the superpower, whether its film industry, music, IT, language problems or even culture.
I am in no way against of comparing Pakistan with India in different aspects or praising what India has achieved but we have not. But my point is this that we should not present Pakistan as a complete failure and India as complete success while comparing the two. As in this case, Hoodbhoy has criticized HEC so much that one starts thinking that probably HEC is the main culprit of low standard not only in higher education but in every part of life and if HEC is kept allowed working in Pakistan then God forbid the higher education system will fall to the ground. The problem I guess lies in making the issues generalized.
The example of Hoodbhoy’s generalization is this that “Pakistan does not have a single “Real” university”.
I guess this is somewhat exaggerated and also heartrending that if a person like Hoodbhoy says this. Asia Week had listed GIK at 23rd, NUST at 20th and SZABIST on 32nd ranks in Asian Best Universities of 2000 in the category of Science and technology. I think Asia Week ranks only “Real” Universities of Asia not fake universities.
Hoodbhoy also mentioned India like having the world√≠s best standard of education and wished to have Indian talent in Pakistan so that they can save our education system from drowning. I have no doubt that India has some very good institutes so does Pakistan but again we should not generalize while making our case against someone/thing. It is really sad and it even destroys the credibility of the writer as well.I personally have lived and worked in Arab Emirates and Saudi Arab (KSA) and have a big circle of Indian friends. I also work for an organization (NGO) which is working in education sector not only in Pakistan but in India also and I have more hands on knowledge of indian education system. Its not uncommon in UAE and KSA that u will hear about the fake degrees of Indian workers, especially from Hyderabad. Even Saudis who need a degree for their promotions, ask Indians or even go to Indian Heyderabad to “buy” a university degree. This is especially common in engineering. I asked some of my friends and relatives who live in India to send me info about this business of fake institutions and degrees. I also collected some of the news in this regard which I have presented at the end of my email. I hope u all will find it interesting.
I was thinking if God forbid HEC accepts Hoodbhoy’s recommendations of bringing Indian students/teachers to Pakistan then how HEC or Hoodbhoy is going to check or scrutinize the degrees of Indians who even have been successful in getting H-1B visas in USA on their fake degrees (see the news collections below). In KSA people used to say that if you want an engineering degree then go to BAQALA (Arabic of a shop) in Hara (a place in Riyadh) and buy it from there.
Hhodbhoy was also very quick in giving the examples of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Indian Institute of Technology, in Delhi and their “polite” and “cultured” students by saying“Angry words are exchanged and polemics are issued against the other, but no heads are bashed”.
but he failed to looked at the dismal condition of vast numbers of other institutes of India where basing the heads is regarded as very common.. Some of the examples I have present below under the heading of “Students Politics in India”. This generalization again shows Hoodbhoy’s selecting some good samples to reinforce his argument and making it universal but forget the opposites.
In the end, I would like to say that Pakistan has some good things as well as bad and unsatisfactory things (like in education) and this phenomenon is universal “including” India. But it gives a real pain if someone presents just a gloomy picture of Pakistan and contrary to that portrays India as superpower. Usually journalists used to do it just to earn some money but if our well informed Professor does the same then nobody would have the credibility of what they say or write.
Now see the other part of the picture of “High” standard of Indian education and read the following: (keep also in mind the fake degrees issue in Pakistan published in the media recently)
Fake Universities and Degrees in India:
1.Employment consultants take advantage of the well-meaning visa applicants as the latter, mostly unqualified, are funneled into the US by middlemen who help them with fake academic degrees and pad their resumes in order to secure the H-1B visas. These shady recruiters in India take several thousand dollars from the “unqualified dreamer” to provide him with some “hurry-up” computer training and an H-1B visa.(Times of India 11 April 2001)2. Balendu Shekha Tiwari, who claims to be a classmate of Laloo Prasad Yadav from his Patna University days, was arrested for his involvement in fake certificate scam. The police team was in Ranchi, following the arrest of two professors from RN Jhunjhunwala College, who were provided fake PhD and DLit.Professors Indra Bahadur Singh and SS Naikwadi who were given the DLit and PhD certificates by Tiwari were accompanied by police to Ranchi. According to the police, Tiwari has confessed that he provided fake certificates to the professors.(Mid Day.com, Dec 30, 2003)3. Police raided the Institute of Paramedical Studies and Charitable Trust from where tthe fake doctors had obtained the degrees. Having no formal medical qualifications, these suspects had been prescribing allopathic medicines for the last so many years, playing with the lives of innocent people. There are about 40,000 such fake doctors in Delhi.(The Tribune September 7, 2003)4. Around 1,000 candidates selected as ETT teachers have been found to possess fake B.Ed degrees. The sources said that the maximum number of fake degrees detected in probe were from the universities and institutions based in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Maximum number of fake degrees were found to be allegedly issued by the Bharatiya Shiksha Parishad and Gandhi Hindi Vidhya Peeth both based in Uttar Pradesh and Maghad University of Madhya Pradesh.The sources said that certain officials of the Maghad University were also alleged to be involved in the issuing of fake degrees. They used to send fake verifications of the degrees issued with their connivance.(The Tribune January 18, 2003)5. The local police today busted a fake degree racket by arresting two women and a kingpin of the gang from an institute running in Mota Singh Market here. A large number of fake degrees were seized from the gang. According to the police, the institute had been supplying degrees for past about two decadesThe accused allegedly sold a fake degree for Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,000. They had contacts with officials of more than 20 universities.(The Tribune October 3, 2003)6. Recently, seven fake degree cases were found in North Maharashtra University in Jalgaon. “At that time, a court directed the state government to find out if there were more such cases,” informs Sawant. “We asked universities to check, but not much came out of that. But this matter needs immediate attention.”(Times of India Dec 2004)7. The medical association demanded immediate action against fake medical colleges selling fake degrees in New Delhi, and a mass public awareness campaign against quacks to be started by the government at the earliest.(Express India Oct 3, 2003)8. It just requires a fake certificate to get a job in top public sector undertakings like National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), State Trading Corporation (STC), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Punjab National Bank or Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). Chances are if you get caught by an agency and convicted by court, another company will readily employ you.
GAIL chief manager S B Baruah just got unlucky when he was caught by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for submitting a fake certificate in 1992 to GAIL for the job of senior deputy manager in 1992.Baruah had submitted a fake Chartered Accountant (CA) degree showing that he had passed out from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 1978 and his role number was 9838.(Mid Day.com Sep 26, 2003)9. Has anyone realised the damage being done to our human resources by allowing students to be cheated by unscrupulous foreign universities which have opened offshore campuses in India, asks D.S. Cheema.(The Tribune, May 24, 2003)The higher education system as reported by Swaminandhan (1994), is suffering from several weaknesses in the form of increase in demand, proliferation of substandard institution, dilution in quality and standard, failure to maintain academic calender, out-dated curriculum, disparities in the quality of education, inadequate resources and lack of adequate support for research, and out-dated management system.The rapid unplanned flooding of higher education engendering complicated situations is one of the reason for indiscipline among students. Universities and colleges are viewed largely as public parks or political dens where the students emerge as pressure groups.(Dr. G.Q. Sheikh, Feb 2001)
Students Poilitics in India:
Twenty-two students of Tiptur-based Kalpatharu Institute of Technology have been admitted to various hospitals in the City for treatment of head injuries, which they had suffered during a clash between students from northern and southern states.
Trouble fomented around 9 am on Friday when a group of students barged into the classrooms, dragged about 50 North Indian students out and assaulted them with wickets and iron rods.
The assault was in retaliation to an attack on a South Indian student on November 28. According to Mr G R Vijayaswamy, Principal of the Institute, “It all started in the hostel mess when one of the students was assaulted for a trivial reason.(Deccan Herald, Dec 07, 2003)At least half a dozen students and the officer in charge of the University police station were injured in a clash between the police and students belonging to the AIDSO on the B R A Bihar University campus here.(Times News Network, Sep 04, 2002)Activists of the Khalsa College Students Union (KCSU) and the Chandigarh Students Union (CSU) had clashed and the police had to resort to a lathi charge at SGGS Khalsa College, Sector 26.(Chandigarh Tribune, Sep 10, 2003)Regards"
W HamidNC, USA