Chandigarh: If you want a Bachelor's degree in Science or the Arts, you don't have to be a student. A PhD? No problem. As long as you have some cash, you can get the degree of your choice. Exams, attending classes - that's old school.
The Artex Informatic Study Centre in Chandigarh doesn't sound very inspiring. It's a small set up, which offers Under Graduation and Post Graduation programs in the fields of Information Technology and Management Courses. Study centres are extensions of private universities offering courses and degrees. They represent one or more private universities in different parts of the country, but aren't regulated directly by the government.
Study centres like this one can be found all over Punjab.
A reporter from NDTV says he's interested in signing up for a degree in BA, but won't really have the time to study.
"You can keep the book with you during the exam," the representative replies. He also offers sharing the workload with other students, all of who will be allowed to keep their textbooks on hand for the exams. "One student searches answer for one question, the other searches for another answer. If you discuss among yourselves in advance, you don't waste time."
And if consulting a textbook or other students is too taxing, he says it's also possible to have someone stand in for you at an exam. "You need to take care of your signature. It should be simple, not complicated, so that the dummy student can easily copy it."
Our reporter hasn't come across as the most committed of students. That's not held against him. He's told he's too late to enroll for this academic year; next year, however, is no problem, says the representative.
We also went to an institute named Career World Study Centre in Ambala. An employee there says bachelor's degrees can be procured from a university named EIILM, based in Sikkim, for Rs 15,000. The study centre could manage to get someone else to sit for the exams or let you cheat. They could also use their contacts at the University to help get a good score. If you want to graduate in a year, that's possible too - for Rs 35,000.
Career World Study Centre serves as a satellite centre for the EIILM Univeristy. The classes here are held only on paper.
The employee also says a PhD in Sociology will take less than two years and cost Rs 40,000. "We will prepare the thesis and the synopsis for an extra charge. Everything will be managed by us. ...the university will charge separately for the guide. Or else he can arrange a guide himself."
There is no need to attend classes here. Records are fudged to show attendance on paper.
At the VCIT Study Centre, a PhD is on offer for two lakhs. The degree, the representative here says, will be issued by EIILM University. Clearly, this is a popular University in the Great College Bazaar. It's a University Grants Commission approved campus in Sikkim.
This easy-to-get degrees scam is helping people get better jobs and that too with ever having to attend a class. It's insta-learning. And it's hot on the market.