In a bid to regulate thousands of private colleges offering degrees in education, the government is scrutinising signed affidavits of 8,500 such colleges with details about the courses offered by them.

The affidavits have been submitted in response to the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s demand for details to assess the quality on offer in these institutions.

Details sought include information on the staff strength, qualifications of faculty members, number of students, details of degrees awarded and fee structure, etc., a top Ministry source said. There are another 2,500-odd colleges that have not yet responded to the Ministry’s demand for such affidavits.

“Notices are being sent to all these institutions to send the details or face action,” said a highly placed source in the Ministry.

The step has come after large-scale complaints that sub-standard, private teacher-training colleges had come up to offer B.Ed and M.Ed courses. There were also allegations that the degrees were sometimes literally sold for money. Since such courses provide an army of teachers for schools across the country, the quality of school education depends to a great extent on the quality of teachers.

“There are government institutions that are doing a fine job. But we need to ensure that private colleges do a decent job. Poor quality of teachers would mean it would become impossible to lift education quality in schools across India,” an official said.

As per NGO Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report, 2015, the proportion of Class 8 students who could solve a three-digit by one-digit division problem was 43.3% in 2016.