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In picture: MBA students attend a lecture at the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon on May 2, 2012. [Representational Image]Reuters file

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has identified 279 fake technical institutes and 23 fake universities across India. Delhi tops the list with 66 fake colleges, the highest for a state in the country.

These institutions do not have the authority to grant degrees to students and education certificates issued by such institutions are invalid, the UGC has said. Delhi is also home to seven of the 23 fake universities across the country. Besides the national capital, states like Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra also have several fake technical institutes.

The UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in its annual review, had released a list of fake educational institutions on their websites — and — last month and also warned students regarding the same.

"We send the list of unapproved and unregulated technical institutions to concerned state authorities for taking appropriate action against such institutions," an official was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying. The official added that "public notices are... published in newspapers cautioning the students not to take admission in such unapproved institutions." The AICTE has also issued notices to such institutions.

Mahendra Nath Pandey, minister of state for Human Resource Development, has said in the Rajya Sabha that the ministry had asked all state governments to probe the matter and file police complaints against such institutions. The state governments have also been asked to initiate proceedings against institutions that cheat students "by misrepresenting themselves as 'universities' awarding degrees with their name."