Tri-Valley laid $500-bait to lure students

HYDERABAD: Even as the radio-tagging issue raises concerns in India, students of Tri-Valley University (TVU) in California, U.S., allege that some of their Indian friends were responsible for the crisis. University authorities were equally to blame as they encouraged fraudulent methods for attracting students, they said.

Indian students, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that the university offered students a bait of $500 each if they enrolled their friends. The option was luring and widely used to impress friends back home. Hundreds of students enrolled were referred by their friends studying here, said a student.

Several fraudulent methods were encouraged by the university authorities and Indian students fell into the trap without understanding the repercussions.

Some good students who got admission to several top universities in the U.S. also shifted to Tri-Valley as they could work without bothering to attend classes, another student said.


U.S. authorities found that the student visa was widely misused. Some employees who entered the country on a H-1 visa (work visa) took student visas from TVU and continued to work in the U.S. with the same client or different clients.

Some doctors who had gone to the U.S. to take the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) stayed back after obtaining the F1 visa from this university. Spouses who joined their partners on dependent visas also obtained the F1 visa from TVU and started working illegally. Those who entered the U.S. with short-term business visas were also found to have taken admission in the university.

Their confidence was that the university was not serious about attendance and academic assignments. Many students did not even bother to obtain a login ID after getting admitted to online courses. Among the 1,700-odd enrolled till December last, 95 per cent are Telugu students. Interestingly, after December about 1,000 more took admission and the majority of them, again, are Telugus, a student said.

Big crime

Converting visas with fraudulent intentions is a big crime in the U.S. and most students were obviously not aware of it as the going was smooth for others, said an attorney of Indian origin in California, whom the affected students have approached.

The Telugu Association of North America (TANA) has helped them get in touch with attorneys and organised free counselling.

TANA secretary Mohan Nannapaneni advised the students to contact attorneys for transfer to other universities, but this provision would be applicable only to genuine students. Those who had misused visa should go back to India and enter the U.S. legally. If deported, they could not enter the U.S. for five years.

We are regularly following up the issue with the authorities and students also want a positive solution, Mr. Mohan said.

An affected student said Indian media were unnecessarily sensationalising the radio tag’ issue and further complicating their future. We should respect the laws of the country where we live in, he said.

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said the use of ankle monitors was wide spread across the country and a standard procedure for investigations. It was a positive alternative to confinement during a pending investigation.

Source : The Hindu

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