INDIA — Local media reported last week that Accenture India – one of the leading IT services providers in India, uncovered a scam in which applicants for jobs at the company utilised falsified credentials and experience letters.

As a result of its investigation, the company has fired a number of its staff.

Postings on Twitter suggest that the company may have let go of “thousands” of workers involved in the scam.

In response to media queries, Accenture India said in a statement:

“We have discovered an effort to use documentation and experience letters from fraudulent companies to obtain offers of employment from Accenture in India… We have exited people who we confirmed took advantage of this scheme. We have taken action to ensure that there will be no impact on our ability to serve our clients.”

Accenture India further said it operated under a ‘strict Code of Business Ethics’ and has zero tolerance for any non-adherence’.

“We are continuing to hire, and honour existing job offers for qualified candidates,” it added.

On its website, Accenture India also put up an advisory:

“Please note that we have not authorised any agency, company or individual to collect money or request any monetary arrangement in order to receive a job at Accenture… At Accenture, our hiring is based purely on merit—we do not charge a fee at any stage of our recruitment process.”

“Legally, we are not obliged to honour any job assurances made by third parties in exchange for money.”

Following the dismissals at Accenture India, Cognizant India revealed that they had a 6 per cent involuntary attrition in the quarter that ended September.

The company’s India head Rajesh Nambiar said there was high involuntary attrition due to failed background checks. Involuntary attrition can be assumed as a euphemism for sacking.

Indian graduates caught with fake credentials are nothing new.

Even so-called “legitimate” universities in India have also been found to be involved in issuing fake degrees to graduates without requiring them to attend any lectures.

Last year, the Manav Bharti University in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh was caught selling 36,000 fake degrees across 17 Indian states in over 11 years. Of the total 41,000 degrees issued by the university, only 5,000 have been found to be genuine so far.

Some of these graduates were found to be working in Singapore by TOC after the news broke in India (‘Indian university caught selling 36,000 fake degrees has graduates working in Singapore‘, 16 Feb 2021).

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