Resist the silent emergency! Call for Action on June 26th 2012


Dear friends,

On June 26,1975, Emergency was declared in India, robbing citizens of their basic democratic rights and ushering in a dark period of rampant human rights violations all over the country. Arrests of Indian citizens without charge or notification of families, abuse and torture of detainees, media censorship and use of public and private media institutions for government propaganda, forced sterilization of the minorities, destruction of slums and low income housing areas and authoritarianism were its main characteristics. All dissent was crushed. While the engineering student Rajan was tortured and killed in the Kakkayam torture camp, many others who were tortured are still alive to tell their tales.

The nightmare of Emergency was over in 1977 when it was lifted due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent. State terrorism today is beyond the imagination those who were responsible for the declaration of Emergency in the seventies.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. While the mainstream media is compelled to ignore most of the people’s movements,for reasons of commerce those who work on human rights of the people are being victimized. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

Human rights lovers of this country and abroad came out on streets to campaign for the release Dr. Binayak Sen in recent times. However, hundreds of innocent adivasis are still suffering in the jails in Chhattisgarh. While the anti-POSCO movement leader Abhay Sahoo was released on bail recently, he is still being tied up with 51 fabricated cases. The villagers and activists resisting the South Korean multinational giant POSCO are facing over 1500 false cases and many of them cannot move out of their villages even to go to hospital due to this. They are jailed inside their own villages. While the leader of the anti-nuclear movement in Koodamkulam is facing over 200 fabricated cases, similar charges have also been instigated against over 6000 villagers. Muslim spiritual leader Abdul Nasser Maudany who supported the struggles of adivasis and dalits in Kerala was imprisoned in Coimbatore jail with fabricated charges for nine and a half years without trial and declared innocent and released later. However, he is imprisoned again with fabricated charges and he is suffering in jail in Bangalore today without proper medical care for his health problems. Maudany is becoming blind today. He has lost vision in one eye and the second eye is also affected. Writer and human rights activist Seema Azad is also behind bars today facing fabricated charges along with her husband. Seema Azad is the organizational secretary of PUCL in Uttar Pradesh. Journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, journalist K.K. Shahina, adivasi activist Soni Sori, farmers’ movement leader Dr. Sunilam, Mumbai based activist Arun Ferreira, Activists protested against Nonadanga slum evictions in West bengal ,  advocate Shahnavas, dalit group in Kerala DHRM, Mumbai based theatre group Kabir Kala Manch, adivasi activist CK. Janu and her supporters and thousands of others have become victims of fabrication by the State in the recent past. This trend is not acceptable to any citizen who believes in democracy and human rights.

Therefore we appeal to all lovers of democracy and human rights to remember the trauma of this country through a declared Emergency during the 70s and express their strong protest against the emerging `Silent Emergency’ in India today. We appeal all citizens to:

  1. Organize protests against this Silent Emergency on June 26, 2012. If it is not possible on this day, please do it on a convenient day in your area.
  2. Organise public meetings remembering Emergency of the Seventies and against today’s Silent Emergency.
  3. Express your skills of writing, songs, posters, paintings, internet action, theatre or any other creative means of expressing your dissent.
  4. Organise film screenings of festivals to express concerns.
  5. Inform http://www.fabricated.in about your involvement (write to editor at fabricated.in)

We do hope that such collective action will generate some space for saving the remnants of democracy in this country.

Thanking you,

Fabricated.in team

Fast in jails against life imprisonment to journalist Seema Azad, husband


By Prashant Rahi, Newzfirst

NEW DELHI –   Even as the world outside wonders whether journalist Seema Azad and her husband Vishwavijay deserved the life sentence awarded them by a Sessions Court at Allahabad, reports reached the capital today of a day-long fast in prisons of two states in the country in protest.

Seema Azad, Editor of the currently suspended Hindi political magazine Dastak was arrested in February 2010 on returning to her home town from the World Book Fair, held at Pragati Maidan here with a load of books of her choice. Her choice, according to the UP police, itself was proof that she was a member and active supporter of the then recently banned CPI (Maoist) and of waging war and conspiring against the state.
After a two and a half year trial at the Allahabad District and Sessions Court, she, along with her husband, Vishwavijay alias Kamal, who had come to receive her with the books at the railway station, were last week awarded life imprisonment and 10 years’ sentences under various sections of the UA(P)A, 2008 and Sections 121 and 121A of the IPC.
About a week after the much-discussed verdict, the human rights organsiation, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), of which Seema was also the UP Organising Secretary, held a press conference here to announce its plan to launch a countrywide campaign to protest the verdict.
No sooner had the press conference got over than the news that prisoners in two states of eastern India had observed a day-long fast on this and another issue reached the capital. Supporters of Seema Azad from different organizations, gathering in the capital to discuss plans for the campaign, informed that the jails in Bihar and Jharkhand were witness to an unprecedented fast on the day of the PUCL press conference.
Among those who are reported to have led the one-day jail fast are alleged former Central Committee members of the CPI (Maoist), the ageing Mr Sushil Roy, Mr Narayan Sanyal, Mr Jagdish Yadav, Mr Pramod Mishra, Ms Sheela Marandi, Mr Vijay Arya and Mr Varanasi Subramaniam. The first four of these are believed to have been Politbureau members of their party. Primarily led by the Maoist leadership in the jails of the two neighbouring states, the fast elicited the support of thousands of political and ordinary prisoners.
Apart from the Sessions verdict, the fasting prisoners were also protesting the alleged custodial death of one Madan Yadav in the Aurangabad district of Bihar last month.

Text of the letter to P. Chidambaram by citizens’ group


By : Manisha Sethi
please find below the letter addressed to the Home Minister, which was due to be submitted to him today by citizens’s group who had planned to demonstrate outside his house today in protest against the unending communal profiling of Muslim youth in the war against terror. However the demonstrators were detained at the Safdarjung Police Station and not allowed to reach the venue of the protest. The protestors however carried on with the protest meeting at the Police Station.

To,
The Home Minister,
Government of India.

Mr. Chidambaram,

We are forced to gather outside your residence today. We have broken with our tradition and etiquette of protest, i.e., to demonstrate at public offices rather than private residences because a large section of our population no longer feels safe in their own homes.  Disappearances and illegal detentions have become rampant in the name of fighting terrorism. It is as though a new wave of counter terrorism has been launched to terrorize the youth belonging to a community.

In this Kafkaesque world over which you preside, young men are picked up, some times snatched by one agency from another and presented to the world as dreaded terrorists. You may remember the case of Naquee Ahmed who was aiding the Special Cell in tracing two suspects in Mumbai when the Mumbai ATS abducted and kept him in illegal custody before announcing that a sensational arrest had been made.  The Special Cell of course abandoned him.  Competition between the agencies is costing innocents their life and liberty and when these squabbles spill into the media, your Ministry merely considers them bad PR rather than genuine concerns of a democracy.

You have stated, Sir, that Fasih Mahmood, the engineer picked up from Jubail in Saudi Arabia, is not in the custody of any of your agencies.  (Is it of no relevance that Indians accompanied the Saudi Arabian police when Fasih was taken away from his home). It is another matter that a red corner notice was issued for his arrest after his wife moved a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court. Another matter also that an affidavit submitted by the Karnataka police in the SC had details of his employment and an itemized list of his alleged guilt. And still, the Government of India claims to be clueless, even as to whether he is alive or dead.

Talking of death, Qateel Siddiqui, alleged IM operative arrested last November in Delhi, was killed in the Yerwada Jail, Pune by fellow inmates. Taken to Maharashtra by the Mumbai ATS on remand, to probe his role in a blast in a temple that did not take place (and of which there is no evidence except of course in now-dead Qateel’s disclosures). But this non-existent blast ostensibly enraged his fellow inmates to the extent that they strangulated him the day his remand was to end. A murder in broad day light in a high security prison. And what a convenient answer. An inmate booked for murder takes all blame. ‘Nationalist’ and ‘patriotic’ Mafiosi have been attributed with such killings in the past. Remember Shahid Azmi, Sir? The courageous lawyer with his own troubled past?

We think it’s important to recall the deep links of these ‘nationalist’ forces of the underworld with our very own Intelligence Bureau. In 2005, when the Mumbai Police swooped down on Vicky Malhotra, close aide of Chota Rajan, whom did they find sitting next to him in the car? Mr. Ajit Kumar Doval, recently retired head of the IB.  And the man who pulled the trigger on Azmi was himself eliminated later.  So certainly, the theory that these were lone hit men, out to avenge their nationalist hurt, must be treated with a lot of circumspection.

Is it too much to ask that DK Basu guidelines for arrest be followed by your agencies? Is Due process of investigation and law only to be followed in its violation? We are not opposed to any investigation, but surely, the law of the land must be followed? Agencies cannot be handed over a license to pick and detain anyone at will. Will we continue to pick one Muslim dominated town after another, branding it the hub of terrorism?

In the meeting of the Chief Ministers held to discuss the NCTC—whose unbridled powers to arrest suspects under UAPA will further aggravate the situation—you lamented that “in practically every case, a small section of the people springs to the support of persons who are detained for interrogation or arrested and charged. There is no apparent reason for such support other than the affinity of religion or sect.” With one sentence, you dismissed the genuine fears and demands about the rife misuse of powers by agencies being articulated by civil rights groups as sectarian  (and as though the articulation of such fears by religious groups somehow rendered it illegitimate).

You ask us Sir to “observe caution and restraint and place faith in the integrity and impartiality of the investigation.” How can we, when the lessons from Malegaon and Mecca Masjid are not being heeded? When the NIA drags its feet in the cases of Hindutva terror? When we see that the Special Cell, despite its claim of a water-tight case against the senior journalist Syed Qazmi, asks for 90 more days to file a chargesheet?

From a poor construction worker like Qateel to a veteran journalist like Syed Qazmi, respected for his vast experience and bold views, all Muslims appear to be under the scanner. We have come here today to say to you that this ceaseless assault must end. Investigating agencies’ reign of terror must stop. This is not a sectarian issue, Sir. The very future of justice and democracy rests on this.

AISA,
Aman Biradari,
ANHAD,
Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan,
Centre for Policy Analysis,
Champa – The Amiya & B.G. Rao Foundation,
Citizens for Democracy,
Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA),
JNUSU,
Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN),
www.fabricated.in
NCDHR ( National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights),
PUCL (Delhi unit),
Revolutionary Youth Association,
Syed Kazmi Solidarity Committee

Drug companies fleecing consumers: Study


For McKesson Corporation, the Mission is Price...

For McKesson Corporation, the Mission is Price Manipulation (g1a2d0053c1) (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)


Kalyan Ray, New Delhi, June 15, 2012, DHNS:

A government study has blamed leading pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithkline, Pfizer and Ranbaxy for selling their products at an “exorbitantly high” profit margin.

Currently, there are about 900 medicines in the Indian drug market. Out of these medicines, prices of 74 life-saving drugs are controlled by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
The study carried out by the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs shows how the common man pays through the nose to buy medicines.

It also accuses the pharmac­eu­tical companies of violating rules. As per government rules, drugs under price control can be sold in the market after adding 100 per cent maximum allowable post-marketing expense (MAPE) to the production cost. But the study blames the drug companies for adding a MAPE between 203 per cent and 1,123 per cent in violation of rules, raising questions about the role played by the NPPA.

A worried Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily rece­ntly wrote to Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers M K Alagiri and Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking action to cu­rb this practice by the drug companies.

Some of the common drugs sold at high prices include Calpol by GlaxoSmithkline, Corex cough syrup by Pfizer, Revital by Ranbaxy Global, Omez by Dr Reddy’s Labs and Azithral by Alembic.
Profit margins are “exorbitantly high” in cases of brands like Amlodopine, Metformin, Ciprofloxacin and Azithro­m­ycin. Also, production costs dif­fer significantly. There was significant variance in retail price between different brands of same molecules, the study points out.

“This practice of fixing maximum retail prices (MRP) at exorbitant high levels gives a chance to the whole chain of distributors, wholesale dealers and retailers to dupe consumers. This is highly detrimental to the interests of the consumers, forcing them to pay the MRP even 10 times the cost of medicine they are procuring,” it said.

In 21 high value brands, the­re are very high company profit margins. The profit margins, as percentage of net sales realisation, range from 29 per cent to 68 per cent.

In 11 cases, the margins were more than 50 per cent. The study comes at a time when a group of ministers (GoM) under the chairmanship of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is reviewing the new pharmaceutical pricing policy to increase the number of price-regulated drugs to 348 from the existing list of 74.

A section of Parliamentarians as well as public health specialists and activists are in favour of price control for all the 900-odd drugs .

Congress MP Jyothi Mirdha told the GoM last month that Indians spend 82.7 per cent of medical expense from their pocket, which is the fourth highest in the world. The maximum expense—40 to 70 per cent of any treatment—is spent on drugs.

In its report tabled in Parliament last month, the standing committee on health said when it asked pharmaceutical secretary about the government’s pl­ans to expand the list of regula­ted drugs, he did not give a “categorical reply.”

Does Your Doctor Have a Fake Degree? – The Billion-Dollar Industry


   

The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas

There is a major crisis in the world of higher education: the large and growing number of fake universities and fake degrees.

June 13, 2012  |

 

The following is an excerpt from Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas published by Prometheus Books. Click here for a copy. 

There is a major crisis in the world of higher education: the large and growing number of fake universities and fake degrees.

Many people are either unaware of the situation, don’t know what a huge problem it is, or don’t appreciate how it is affecting them, their institution or employer, and society at large.

Consider, for instance, these five things:

•  There are more than 3,300 unrecognized universities, worldwide, many of them outright fakes, selling bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, law, and medical degrees to anyone willing to pay the price. No nation is immune from the problem.

• One international diploma mill, with offices in Europe and the Middle East and mailing addresses in the United Kingdom, run by Americans, has sold more than 450,000 degrees—bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, medicine, and law—to clients worldwide, who did nothing more than write a check. Their revenues exceeded US $450,000,000.

•  The number of earned PhD degrees in the United States is 40,000 to 45,000 each year. The number of fake PhDs bought each year from diploma mills exceeds 50,000. In other words, more than half of all people claiming a new PhD have a fake degree.

•  Fake medical degrees are an urgent problem. It is easy to buy a medical degree from a fake school, or a counterfeit diploma in the name of a real school. Twenty-five years ago, a Congressional committee calculated that there were over 5,000 fake doctors in the United States, and there are many more now. People have died because of these fakes.

•  The Government Accountability Office looked for fake degrees among employees of less than 5 percent of federal agencies and found enough to suggest that more than one hundred thousand federal employees have at least one, many of them paid for by taxpayers not to mention resulting higher pay and increased retirement benefits.

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS A DEGREE MILL?

It is generally advisable to define the “beast” before going out to attempt to slay it. In the case of degree mills, this turns out to be an elusive task.

Let’s begin with the most basic words: degree and diploma.

A degree is the title one earns from a legitimate school or simply buys from a fake one: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Philosophy, Juris Doctor (law), Doctor of Medicine, and scores of other titles.

A diploma is the certificate—the piece of paper or parchment—that signifies that a degree has been awarded.

Schools award degrees. And then they present the graduate with a diploma, which is, in effect, an announcement, a proclamation of the degree that has been awarded.

Degree mills issue diplomas. Diploma mills sell degrees. We can live with either word, but we have selected “degree mill” as our term of choice since it refers to the entity awarding the degree and not just to the decorative announcement framed and hung on the wall.

 

Different people define these words differently, depending on their intention. There is far from unanimous agreement on just what a degree mill is.

Almost no one would deny that a “university” operating from a mailbox service that grants the PhD in three days is a degree mill. But what about an institution that operates legally in a state with minimal regulation and requires three months and a thirty-page paper in order to earn its PhD? What about one that requires six months and sixty pages? How about twelve months and one hundred twenty pages? One person’s degree mill may be another’s innovative new-style university. Clearly more definition is needed than just time and work required.

Until now, only three books have been devoted entirely or largely to degree mills. Here’s how each of them define the term.

In 1963, Robert Reid wrote that “degree mills are those institutions that call themselves colleges or universities which confer ‘quick-way,’ usually mail-order degrees on payment of a fee. These institutions turn out . . . degrees without necessarily requiring the labor, thought, and attention usually expected of those who earn such degrees.”

In 1986, David W. Stewart and Henry A. Spille wrote, “Basically a diploma mill is a person or an organization selling degrees or awarding degrees without an appropriate academic base and without requiring a sufficient degree of postsecondary-level academic achievement.”

In 1990, Steve Levicoff, realistically acknowledging that no single definition can work in every situation, offered a list of sixty-two characteristics sometimes exhibited by degree mills, and he suggested that each reader would have to decide how many of these characteristics it would require before calling a school a degree mill.

In Allen Ezell’s presentations to academic and business groups, he often uses this definition adapted from several publications of the US Office of Education: “Degree mills are organizations that award degrees without requiring [their] students to meet educational standards for such degrees. They receive fees from their so-called students on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation and/or make it possible for the recipients of its degrees to perpetrate a fraud on the public.”

It would be wonderful to have an infallible and undisputed test of what is a mill and what isn’t, but clearly there is no perfect definition that works for every person in every case. We offer in chapter 2 our list of ninety-two things that schools do to fool people. If a school has eighty or ninety of these characteristics, almost no one would deny it is a mill. But what about sixty-three? Or forty-two? Or seventeen? Some would say yes and some would say no or maybe. The important thing is to be clear about why you say something is, or is not, or probably is. In general, it seems to us, identification as a degree mill comes down to consideration of these five crucial issues:

a. degree-granting authority,

b. credit for prior learning and experience,

c. amount of new work required,

d. quality of new work required,

e. who makes the decisions.

Let’s look at each of these issues in a bit of detail.

a. Under what authority are the degrees granted? Who has given the school permission to grant degrees? How have they made that decision?

Authority to award degrees needs to come from an independent entity, almost always a government agency. Some mills claim to give themselves the authority through their corporate charter, but no legitimate school does this.

We are talking about well over three hundred government agencies, and that means more than three hundred different policies and procedures. There are the 192 members of the United Nations, a few dozen countries that haven’t joined the UN, and dozens of territories, colonies, and protectorates. There are countries where some or all of the school decisions are made one step down from the national government: the fifty US states, of course, as well as the Canadian provinces and territories, the Swiss cantons, and others.

Some government agencies have a comprehensive and responsible method for determining who can grant degrees; others are little more than rubber stamps or have a simple and trivial process. And a great many are somewhere in between, thus subject to various interpretations, depending on who is doing the interpreting and for what purpose.

b. How much credit is given for prior learning, and how is that decision made?

It is an academically valid and well-accepted practice to give credit for learning experiences that took place prior to enrollment. A typical example is skill in a second language. If an American student takes four years of French in college, she will earn about twenty-four semester units and achieve a certain level of competency in the language. But what if she reached exactly the same level of competency on her own, whether through taking a Rosetta Stone course, living in that country, or learning from her grandmother? Many schools will award credit, although not necessarily those twenty-four units, once the competency has been demonstrated on a meaningful written and/or oral examination.

Credit is responsibly given for a wide range of prior learning, ranging from an Army map-reading course, to an IBM in-house training program, to earning a multiengine pilot’s license, to extensive independent study in Buddhist philosophy, to achieving a high score on the Graduate Record Examination in math.

While each school makes its own decision on how much credit to give, many rely on recommendations made by the American Council on Education’s (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service, described at http://www.acenet.edu/calec/corporate. ACE evaluates thousands of learning experiences and publishes its recommendations on how much credit to give for each experience in several large volumes each year.

While there can be a considerable range in the amount of credit given for the same experience, the bad and fake schools regularly abuse this process by making outrageous credit awards. For instance, a good score on the ninety-minute College Level Evaluation Program (CLEP) test in history is worth one or two semester units at many schools and as much as five or six at a few. But degree mills have been known to give forty or fifty semester units, or even the entire bachelor’s (typically 120 units), master’s, or doctorate degree, for one CLEP test.

Again, we have a continuum, with the least-generous legitimate school at one end and the degree mills at the other. If the amount of credit awarded for a Navy music course ranges from three units at School A to one hundred twenty units at School Z, where does one draw the line between “good school” and “bad school” and perhaps another line between “bad school” and “degree mill”? And, most significantly, who draws that line?

c. How much new work is required to earn the degree?

While there are three regionally accredited US schools that will consider awarding their bachelor’s degree totally based on prior learning (if there is a great deal of it), the vast majority of schools require at least one year of new work, no matter what the student has done before.12

At the master’s and doctoral level, giving credit for prior learning is minimal and rare. We know of no school with recognized accreditation that will award its master’s degree for anything less than one academic year (eight or nine months) of new work. The doctorate typically requires at least two years of new work, but usually three to five.

It is a common approach for degree mills to look at an applicant’s CV or resume and say, “Ah, yes, you’ve been selling life insurance for three years. That is the equivalent of an MBA,” or “We have determined that your five years of teaching Sunday school can earn you a Doctor of Divinity degree.”

Once again we have a continuum. At one end are the schools that require a great deal of new work after enrollment, and at the other end are the degree mills that offer any degree, including the master’s or doctorate, entirely or almost entirely based on the resume.

Is a three-page paper and one short open-book quiz sufficient for a master’s degree? A thirty-page paper and a one-hour unproctored exam? Ten thirty-page papers and five two-hour proctored exams? Where does one draw the line, and, again significantly, who draws it?

d. How does one judge the quality of the work done?

Even more complicated than evaluating the quantity of work done to earn any given degree is the quality of that work. A brilliant thirty-page thesis might be considered more worthy of a master’s degree than an ordinary hundred-page one or a poorly done three-hundred-page one.

Once again we have a continuum from A to F (or 4.0 to 0.0) grades, and we have the complicated issue of who makes those grading decisions and on what basis.

The quality of work done has been used in courtroom trials and other public situations to help prove that a given school is a degree mill. A high school teacher with a dubious PhD sued his school district, which had refused to pay him at the doctoral scale as the union contract required. The district had acquired a copy of this man’s seventeen-page doctoral “dissertation” directly from his alma mater, an unaccredited California university. The arbitration committee was clearly not impressed with this work, which the committee said was nothing more than a book report, and denied the claim.

That situation turned out well. But what if the three arbitrators had “voted” two to one? What if the lawyer for the defendant had found three professors who said that the work was adequate? What if the degree holder had hired an academic writing service (and there are plenty of them) to write a good dissertation for him, after his degree was challenged?

e. Who makes these decisions? How do they do so?

Gatekeepers and decision makers must decide where to draw all these crucial lines: how much credit for life experience, how much work to earn a degree, and what quality of work. Whenever possible, they will make use of external examiners: scholars from other schools and agencies, who will review the processes and determine that they are valid and equivalent to what their own institutions do.

All of this means that there is no short, simple, universally accepted definition of a degree mill. The complexity of the current educational situation precludes that.

 

Allen Ezell is the founder and former head of the FBI’s DipScam diploma-mill task force, and author of “Counterfeit Diplomas and Transcripts” and “Accreditation Mills.” John Bear, PhD. is the former head of new business development for Pearson’s educational division and is the author of the bestselling Bears’ Guide series of educational books, plus numerous books on consumerism, computers, and other topics. Ezell and Bear are co-authors of “Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas” (Prometheus Books, 2012).

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