KP Sharma 

Advancement in technology and digital platforms offer new avenues for earning, but they have also become a breeding ground for illicit digital businesses, where countless individuals fall victim to them everyday.

A recent case drew the attention to this development when, a private firm, accused of involving in offering unauthorised cryptocurrency training was warned by the Bhutan Qualifications and Professional Certification Authority (BQPCA).

The BQPC is a department formed as a part of transformation responsible for qualification accreditation, professional certification and national qualification framework in the country. It monitors the quality of education and training, awarding and recognition of qualifications in the country and also certifying the practices of the professionals.

On February 1,  BQPCA issued a public notice  urging  people to abstain from participating in training provided by until the firm obtains formal authorisation from the authority. The notice added that BQPCA was currently in the process of verifying the proposal submitted by the company.  The owner of the firm was scheduled to present the details to the authority yesterday.

An official from BQPCA said that the authority cannot disclose specific details regarding the business, as the firm is not registered and is not permitted to conduct training. According to him, the firm owner received a verbal warning initially, followed by a  penalty of Nu 10,000 for repeatedly promoting the training despite the warning. 

“It is the department’s duty to safeguard the public and raise awareness about such activities and consequently, we have released a public notice for the benefit of the general public,” he added.

The firm owner was required to present to a committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive analysis and assessing the training’s purpose. 

The official stressed that any firm intending to offer training to the public must register and obtain approval from the department. 

“To maintain quality standards, whether it is a private enterprise, government entity, or NGO, registration with BQPCA is mandatory,” the official said. Regarding the training provision, the official highlighted its gravity, stating that it pertains to building human resources, adding that in an event of inferior quality training practices, there could be direct impact on the country.

The BQPCA is appealing to people to stay vigilant when engaging in online training programmes and urged people to verify the legitimacy of the providers and ensure that businesses offering such services are registered and authorised by the appropriate authorities.

Pandora is legal, says owner

The firm’s owner, Sandeep Rai, refuted claims that the business is illegal and, in response to BQPCA’s decision, he said that he fully respects it as a competent authority with a mandated task.

He said the government has labelled the firm as unregistered, but not a scam. “The department is doing their responsibility. People should understand the notice, he said.

Sandeep Rai  highlighted the positive impact of the firm’s opportunities on the public, particularly in the  entrepreneurship world. He expressed willingness to seek government guidance and support for collaboration if his proposal is accepted., as per the owner, was formally launched in 2020, though its inception dates back to 2012. 

Sandeep strongly refuted claims of it being a scam, stating that it represents a smart utilisation of digital technologies to make a positive difference in people’s lives.