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Crackdown on illegal IELTS centres

Surprise checking of 40 institutes by SDM, officials in Tarn Taran; 1 centre sealed

Crackdown on illegal IELTS centres

SDM Anil Gupta leads a checking drive at an IELTS centre in Bhikhiwind on Thursday. Photo: Gurbaxpuri



Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 6

Most of the IELTS centres, being run from the border area of Bhikhiwind town, downed their shutters when they got to know of the surprise checking of the licences and other documents of their centres by SDM Anil Gupta here on Thursday.

The SDM along with tehsildar Sarabjit Singh Thind and Bhikhiwind SHO Balwinder Singh Aulakh paid a surprise visit to IELTS centres to check their licences and authority. As per a report, more than 30 IELTS centres and many travel agencies are functioning from Bhikhiwind.

Only four IELTS centres were the licence holders and others were running without licences or the authority. The centres that had no valid licences preferred to shut their complexes and ran away to undisclosed places. A team of the administration observed that many such centres were overcrowded and one instructor was giving coaching to more than 100 candidates.

There were no proper arrangements of drinking water or toilets for women candidates. Talking to mediapersons, SDM Gupta said action would be taken against the centres running without licenses.

Acting on increasing complaints of human trafficking and frauds being committed by fake travel agents, officials of the administration checked as many as 40 IELTS centres, travel agencies and others till Thursday in the town. Rajnish Arora, SDM, Tarn Taran, checked different IELTS centres, travel agencies, Visa Advisory Centres, E-ticketing, etc.

SDM Rajnish Arora said during the two-day drive, which started on Wednesday, 40 centres were checked and out of them one IELTS centre was sealed. He said the drive would continue in future and the such centres in the district would be checked regularly.

The SDM said the 10 centres with certain technical lapses were ordered to be closed temporarily till the clearance of their lapses. Six of the centres had produced their documents and these were permitted to work while four centres were still under the scanner, said SDM Rajnish Arora. He said instructions were issued to the centres to abide by the set norms like displaying the licence numbers in their office and in the advertisements released on social media and others and to act as per the guidelines of the Punjab Travel Professional Regulation Rules, 2013.

The SDM warned the centre coordinators that in case they were found committing lapses, legal action must be taken against them as per law. There were reports that more than 100 IELTS centres were being run without licences in remote villages of the district like Khalra, Harike, Valtoha, Naushehra Pannua, Chohla Sahib, etc.

Despite repeated attempts, DC Baldeep Kaur could not be contacted.

Only 4 of 30 centres in Bhikhiwind with licence

As per a report, more than 30 IELTS centres and many travel agencies are functioning from Bhikhiwind. Only four IELTS centres were licence holders and others were running without licences or authority. The owners of centres that had no valid licences preferred to shut their complexes and ran away to undisclosed places.


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