In a notice released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the 7th of October, St John's University in Kishanattam has been declared a fake university making it ineligible to provide degrees. As per the UGC Act of 1956, only universities established by a central, state or provincial act or an institution deemed to be a university under section 3 of the UGC Act or an institution empowered by an act of the parliament can confer degrees. Additionally, the use of the suffix 'university' is prohibited by institutions that do not adhere to the aforementioned criteria under section 23 of the UGC Act.
The notice lists 24 fake universities across the country. The highest number of fake universities functions in Uttar Pradesh which has 8 fake universities closely followed by Delhi with 7 fake universities followed by West Bengal and Odisha with 2 each. Besides Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry have a fake university each. In 2019, the list of fake universities released recorded 23 fake universities. Christ New Testament Deemed University, Andhra Pradesh is the new addition to the list.
Meanwhile, Kerala government has also warned against the off-campus centre in Kochi of the Bangalore based Jain Deemed-to-be University. The university had begun the intake of students in 2018 after being granted graded autonomy. However, the university wasn't granted approval to start the off-campus centre in Kochi. The state government released a circular dating back to November 2019 that read, "The Kochi campus has no legal validity and the degrees issued to the students from the particular campus would not be valid."
The complete list of fake universities as declared by UGC is as follows:
1. Commercial University Ltd., Delhi.
2. United Nations University, Delhi.
3. Vocational University, Delhi.
4. ADR-Centric Juridical University, Delhi
5. Indian Institute of Science and Engineering, Delhi.
6. Viswakarma Open University for Self-Employment, Delhi
7. Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya, Delhi
8. Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Karnataka.
9. St. John's University, Kerala.
10. Raja Arabic University, Maharashtra.
11. Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, West Bengal
12. Institute of Alternative Medicine and Research, West Bengal
13. Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, UP
14. Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, UP
15. Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, UP
16. National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, UP
17. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), UP
18. Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, UP
19. Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, UP
20. Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, UP
21. Nababharat Shiksha Parishad, Odisha
22. North Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Odisha
23. Sree Bodhi Academy of Higher Education, Puducherry
24. Christ New Testament Deemed University, Andhra Pradesh