With the passage of time, con artists have mastered the art of creating fake degrees. The difference in those counterfeit degrees cannot be spotted with the naked eye, which is why Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to take action against fake ones.
HEC has approved an online system, which will not only attest the degrees but also verify if the degree is valid or not. The official statement reads:
“…to determine the equivalence and recognition of degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded by Institutions within the country and abroad.”
Here’s how the process is expected to work for applicants who want to get their degrees attested online:
- Applicants will upload relevant documents
- Academic credentials.
- Identity documents.
- The system will check applicant’s information by contacting NADRA and PQR database.
- Controller of Examinations will have access to view the documents to asses their legitimacy.
- If the documents are authentic, the system will attest the documents and contact the applicant.
Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR)
PQR is an information database of the universities. Information such as their campuses, departments, degree programs and exact titles and level of qualification etc. will be saved in the database for evaluation.
Along with being linked to the NADRA database, the system will also be linked to PQR. If the degree programs are not in the PQR database then the applicants will not be able to get their degrees attested.
This database will act as another security measure to filter out the fake degrees. With the help of NADRA and PQR database, fake degrees can finally be eliminated altogether.
Verification Via Controller Examination
This is perhaps the most crucial step of all, as it is the first time that the Controller of Examinations will play a crucial role in the verification process.
The Controller of Examinations will be given control of the system and they can view the uploaded scanned copies of the applicants; be it degree, transcript or the provisional certificate.
The document’s legitimacy will be verified by Controller of Examinations online and within 24 hours. If the verification is not done within a day, the universities will be notified via email so that the process can be completed as soon as possible.
This is a much needed initiative taken by HEC, to attest the degrees only after verifying them first. The verification process is enough to ensure the legitimacy of the documents.
However, there are a number of unanswered questions when it comes to the new system:
- Is this process optional or is it compulsory even if your degree is already attested?
- Will job applications require degrees to be attested online beforehand?
- If any fake degree is identified, what will be the consequences?
We will have more concrete information once this system launches. Keep watching this space for more.