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KASARGOD: An educational racket is thriving in the state making use of the facilities offered by the UGC-recognised Periyar University in Tamil Nadu.� The programme is for the failed students to enable them to get degree certificates from a UGC-recognised university.

Several study centres which had mushroomed across the state are fleecing the aspiring students exacting a huge amount from them.

The usual fees demanded by the Periyar University for various courses is between Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000, but the study centres collect Rs 16,000 to Rs 35,000. Curiously, 95 percent of the students who appeared for the examination would pass.

The students would be given study materials one month or 15 days before the commencement of the examination covering 15 to 18 papers. In normal case, a failed student who had studied another syllabus for three years would find it hard to grasp the study materials.

But the study centres which collected huge amounts from the students would help them pass the examination. Since no invigilator from the Periyar University would be present at the examination centres in the state, the responsibility of conducting the examinations is vested with the study centres or their franchises.

The printed question and answer papers would be made available to the students before the examination. The students need only to copy the printed answers in their answer sheets.

Various study centres that enroll students for the Periyar University make Rs 25 lakh to Rs 2 crore annually, said C T Abdul Gafoor, an educational activist of� Malappuram.

He said this sort of racket and examination malpractices could not be carried on without the support of the officials of the Periyar University.

Abdul Gafoor said the MS University in Tamil Nadu had also indulged in such malpractices before, but the racket was put to an end by the UGC by withdrawing its recognition.

The degree certificates given by such universities in Tamil Nadu would not be acceptable in Kerala. The universities in the state used to reject such degree certificates for further studies.

But the certificates would be accepted for jobs in private companies or in some foreign countries. The certificates would also be accepted for higher studies in Tamil Nadu.

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