varsity with hundreds of Indian students under scanner
Another US educational institution
with hundreds of Indian students has come under the scanner with
dozens of agents raiding offices at the University of Northern
Virginia. This prompted the US embassy in New Delhi to urge
prospective Indian students to thoroughly
another US university came under the scanner, the United States
asked Indian students to be alert to the existence of "predatory
visa fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors."
"We are looking into this matter, we're following the case
closely, and we're in communication with the Government of India
officials on it," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said
Friday, a day after a raid on the University of Northern Virginia.
Based in Annandale, a Washington suburb, the unaccredited,
for-profit private university has some 2,400 students of which 90
percent are from India, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, registered at
three locations in northern Virginia.
The US embassy in New Delhi has briefed the Ministry of External
Affairs and the US Department of Homeland Security and the State
Department have been in contact with the Indian Embassy here,
Declining to give details as an investigation is ongoing, the
spokesman said "it's important to note that a hundred thousand
Indians are receiving a good education at certified US
institutions each year, and we certainly welcome the contribution
of Indian students wishing to study in the United States."
"And of course, as always, we caution them to be alert to the
existence of these so-called predatory visa fraud rings and
fraudulent document vendors," he said.
Asked how US consulates or embassies in India issued visas for
study at such institutions, Toner again declined comment in view
of "an ongoing investigation".
"They've taken action against this school, and we're in close
coordination with the Indian Government as we move forward. But
beyond that, I don't want to comment on details," he said.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has warned the Northern
Virginia University that it could withdraw the school's
authorisation to admit foreign students.
Agency Spokesperson Cori Bassett, however, would not say why the
action was taken, saying it is part of a pending investigation.
The school remains open and certified and will have the chance to
rebut the government's allegations.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)