Private Institutions cannot become “commercial shops” and charge exorbitant fees in name of building fund, infrastructure fund: HC

……… The private institutions cannot be permitted to operate like money minting institutions.

……. Over a period of time, education has become a commodity in India. All the genres of society are so overly obsessed with education that it has devalued the real essence of education. Education is no more a noble cause but it has become a business, therefore, the paradigm shift, especially in the higher education from service to business is a matter of concern. The commercialization of education has a dreadful effect that is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed.

 …… Educational Institutions are indulging in gross misleading advertisements. which can only be termed to be persuasive, manipulative and exploitative to attract the widest possible audience.

 …….. It is shocking that the private institutions have been raising their assets after illegally collecting funds like building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc. It is high time these practices are stopped forthwith and there is a crack down on all these institutions.

…… Himachal Pradesh High Court

The Himachal Pradesh taking serious cognizance of ill practices of certain educational institution to conduct in unauthorized manner, collecting exorbitant fees and issuing misleading advertisement has directed State Government to set up a Committee to investigate all the Institutions and further directed State Government to ensure that no fees is charged in name of building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc.

The Judgement was passed on a petition directed against the order passed in against the Petitioner Institutions to jointly and severally refund the fees taken from the students.

The petitioner is the so called franchisee of the Sikkim Manipal University based at Sikkim and claims to be running its study centre at Shimla. The students had filed petition under Section 11 of the H.P. Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission), Act, 2010 claiming refund of admission fee paid to the petitioner for MBA PGDM course, on the ground that the same was exorbitant and had never been approved either by the State Government or by the UGC. These petitions were contested by the petitioner and vide impugned order, the petitioner was directed to refund the fee.

The order was challenged on the ground that the Education Commission had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition, as the dispute relating to Sikkim Manipal University was beyond its territorial jurisdiction

The Court considered the finding that neither the petitioner Institute had permission by the UGC to run the institute as a distance education programme study centre nor it had  obtained permission from the State Government and thus observed that the petitioner was concerned only with minting money and was least concerned with the prospects and future of the students. It also observed that “Education institution of the petitioner is no less than a commercial shop, where the aspiring needs of the students stand defeated due to the malpractices and frivolous activities of the petitioner. This is a classical example where the petitioner institute has presented an imaginary and illusory picture for making a successful career to the innocent students admitted in their institute, that too, by charging exorbitant fees and thereafter leaving them in the lurch to fend for themselves little knowing that even the courses undertaken by them may probably not even be recognized in the country. This practice is not only to be deprecated, but is also to be handled and dealt with a heavy hand.”

The Court considering various, guidelines and notification relating to territorial restrictions of a State Private University came to the conclusion that the petitioner could not act as a franchisee of the Sikkim Manipal University and dismissed the Petition.

However before it parted with the Judgement, it made certain important observations, regarding practice of educational institutions to issue misleading advertisements, charge exorbitant fees in different names, commercialization of education etc.:

  1. The private institutions cannot be permitted to operate like money minting institutions.

  2. Imparting education can never be equated with profit oriented business as it is neither commerce nor business and if it is so, then the regulatory controls by those at the helm of affairs have not only to be continued, but are also required to be strengthened.

  3. Over a period of time, education has become a commodity in India. All the genres of society are so overly obsessed with education that it has devalued the real essence of education. Education is no more a noble cause but it has become a business, therefore, the paradigm shift, especially in the higher education from service to business is a matter of concern. The commercialization of education has a dreadful effect that is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed.
  1. Mushroom growth of ill-equipped, understaffed and unrecognized educational institutions was noticed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and it was observed that the field of education had become a fertile, perennial and profitable business with the least capital outlay in some States and that societies and individuals were establishing such institutions without complying with the statutory requirements.
  1. Educational Institutions are indulging in gross misleading advertisements. which can only be termed to be persuasive, manipulative and exploitative to attract the widest possible audience. These institutes trap into their web the innocent, vulnerable and unsuspecting students. Their lucrative and mesmerizing advertisements hypnotize the students only to fall into an unknown world of uncertainties. Some institutes promise hundred percent placement, some claim excellent staff, some claim free wi-fi campus, some promise free transportation etc. But what should really matter is ‘education’. This problem is further compounded by the proliferation of coaching institutes which have only made ‘education’ more dirty and murkier.
  1. It is shocking that the private institutions have been raising their assets after illegally collecting funds like building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc. It is high time these practices are stopped forthwith and there is a crack down on all these institutions. Every education institution is accountable and no one, therefore, is above the law. It is not to suggest that the private education institutions are not entitled to their due share of autonomy as well as profit, but then it is out of this profit that the private education institutions, including schools are required to create their own assets and other infrastructure. They cannot under the garb of building fund etc. illegally generate funds for their “business expansion” and create “business empires”.

The Court in light of all these observations felt that there is an urgent need for Government intervention by conducting a fresh investigation of all these institutions and directed the Chief Secretary to Government of Himachal Pradesh is directed to constitute a committee which shall carry out inspection of all the private education institutions at all levels i.e. schools, colleges, coaching centres, extension centres, (called by whatever name), universities etc. throughout the State of Himachal Pradesh regarding requisite infrastructure, parents teacher associations, qualified staff and submit report regarding compliance of the H.P. Private Educational Institutions (Regulation) Act, 1997 within three months.

The Court directed the State Government to ensure that no private education institution is allowed to charge fee towards building fund, infrastructure fund, development fund etc.

In addition to this, the Principal Secretary (Education) is directed to issue mandatory orders to all educational institutions, whether private or government owned, to display the following detailed information relating to faculty, infrastructure, fees breakup, details of internship and placement, on the notice board which shall be placed at the entrance of the campus and on their websites.

EduLegaL View:

Commercialization of education is certainly a serious issue. It is opposed to public policy and Indian tradition. Education has never been commerce in this country. The object of establishing an institution has thus been to provide technical or professional education to the deserving candidates, and is not necessarily a commercial venture.

To put it differently, in the establishment of an educational institution, the object should not be to make a profit, inasmuch as education is essentially charitable in nature. There can, however, be a reasonable revenue surplus, which may be generated by the educational institution for the purpose of development of education and expansion of the institution.

Appropriate machinery can be devised by the state or university to ensure that exorbitant fee is not charged and that there is no profiteering, though a reasonable surplus for the furtherance of education is permissible. Reasonable surplus to meet cost of expansion and augmentation of facilities does not, however, amount to profiteering.

But nonetheless, after these borderlines have been drawn in plethora of judgements, the issue remaining a burning issue !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

 

Advertising Council finds ads of major Coaching Institutes misleading

In a major crackdown on Advertisements released by the Coaching Institutes in print media as well as on their websites, engaged in field of Coaching Students for CAT, MBA, Law Entrance, Banking Examinations, the Advertisement Standard Council of India, has in its decision of January 2016 has found several of their ads to be misleading, unsubstantiated and ambiguous.

These Institutes as per the decision of the Advertising Council have claims of Ranking in the Entrance Examinations, Number of successful students, Coaching and Learning Material Preparations and Contents, Test Series, Coaching Pedagogy to influence the aspirants to join their Institutes.

In January 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against major Coaching Institutions which operate in MBA / Engineering / Law Domain relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in their Advertisements. The CCC found that claims in the following advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

1. CL Educate Ltd. (Career Launcher):

A] The claims in the advertisement, “CL, No.1 CAT coaching institute with 9629 IIM Calls in CAT’14. Best MBA prep for CAT, IIFT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP Exams“, “Best MBA prep for CAT, IIFT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP Exams” were not substantiated. The claims were misleading by exaggeration.

B] The claim in the advertisement, “Undisputed market leader in the field of Mgmt Entrance Training”, was false.

C] CAT’16/17: The claim in the advertisement, “9629 IIM calls in CAT 2014”, was not adequately substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity and omission of mention of number of students.

2. Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd. (Byju’s Cat Coaching Institute):

A] The claims in the advertisement, “Best CAT Coaching Institute in Delhi”, and “CAT Coaching by India’s Best Trainers, Byju and Santosh”, were not substantiated.

B] The claim in the advertisement, “Join the best coaching for CAT and boost your CAT preparation”, was not substantiated.

3. TathaGat (MBA Entrance / CAT coaching): The claim in the advertisement, “TathaGat is Delhi’s most successful MBA Entrance / CAT coaching institute for last 5 years now”, was not substantiated.

4. Bulls Eye: The claims in the advertisement, “Highest selection/conversion ratio in the industry”, “Best free prep website in India”, “Bulls eye test series is the best” and “Best free MBA preparation website in India”, were not substantiated.

5] National Banking Academy: The claim in the advertisement, “No.1 institute for BANK & SSC”, was not substantiated.

6] Sriram Law Academy: The claim in the advertisement, “Sriram student secure All India 1st Rank for 12th year in a row!”, was not substantiated adequately and is misleading by ambiguity, as the advertiser does not mention the name of the test/exam in the advertisement, and has not submitted supporting data to prove that the photographs of students shown were actually 1st rankers and were from Sriram Law Academy.

7] Rice Education: The claim in the advertisement, “The Best Training for Govt. Jobs Examination”, is an absolute claim and was not substantiated with supporting comparative data versus other institutes.

8] Adamas Career: The claim in the advertisement, “The Best Choice for Medical and Engineering Entrance Examination”, was not substantiated.

9] Shanti Business School: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Placements (misprinted as 1 0%)” and “Average Package – INR 4.65 LPA” were not substantiated and when read in conjunction, were grossly misleading by implication of availability of higher salary packages.

10] Mewar Classes (Crash Course): The claim in the advertisement, “No. 1 coaching in Bhilwara”, was not substantiated.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI deals with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

ASCI is also the “Executive Arm” of the Department of Consumer Affairs handling all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.

EduLegaL View:

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Coaching Classes and Institutions have overgrown in India due to huge peer pressure and parental aspirations. It is one of the biggest sector, but still unregulated in majority part of the Country. It is high time that this sector is regulated.

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these coaching institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Advertising Council finds Educational Ads fake, false and misleading

Advertising Standards Council of India [ASCI]  has been receiving several complaints from parents and students against misleading claims being made in advertisement of various educational institutions pertaining to claims of success in competitive examinations, guaranteed placement and passing, recognition and affiliation, ranking of the institutions, etc.

These Institutes as per the decision of the Advertising Council have made claims of Ranking in the Entrance Examinations, Number of successful students, Coaching and Learning Material Preparations and Contents, Test Series, Coaching Pedagogy to influence the aspirants to join their Institutes.

In December 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims. The CCC found that claims in the following advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

1] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd.: The claims in the advertisement, “2116 T.I.M.E students into the IIMs alone – a total of 7379 final selections in CAT- 2014” and “Process and Results validated by an independent third party on 21/09/2015”, were not substantiated.

2] CATKing (CLAP Digital Marketing Course): The claims in the advertisement with reference to Mr Rahul Singh – “He pursued his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai”, “He also achieved a degree in Master of Information Technology from Virginia Tech”, and “Certification from a Harvard Business School Alumni”, were false, not substantiated with evidence, and were misleading.

3] CL Educate Ltd (CAT 16/17 Program): The claims in the advertisement, “Your Gateway to IIM”, “Closest to CAT”, “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, “The most comprehensive CAT ‘16/17 classroom program”, were not substantiated with supporting data. Also, the claim, “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, is misleading, as it does not match with the CA report on pages 6, 7, 8 – Clause 6 – Conclusion, the total adds up to 8793 only as against 9629 IIM calls as claimed in the advertisement.

false advertisement

4] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd. (TIME Tuitions): The advertisement’s claims, “T.I.M.E., the national Leader in entrance exam training with 200+ centres across India” was not substantiated with supporting data.

5] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd (Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015): The claim in the advertisement, “Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015 – Certified by Guinness World Records & Limca Book of Records as the Largest Quiz Ever”, was not substantiated with supporting data.

6] Triumphant Institute of Management Education (Times Google Search Result Validation): The claim in the advertisement, “Best Coaching Institute for CAT, GATE, Bank Exams, CSAT….” is an absolute claim and was not substantiated with comparative data versus other institutes.

7] Shyamli Institute of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement, “recognition of hotel management courses by UGC & AICTE”, “UGC & AICTE approved” and “job guarantee” (Naukri Sunishit) were not substantiated.

5] Knowledge Station India Private Limited (The Santa Kidz): The advertisement’s claim, “Rajasthan’s No. 1 School“, was not substantiated with supporting comparative data versus other institutes. Also, the claim, “India’s 1st Brain School with D.M.I Technology”, was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the advertisement does not give any credible references to authenticate the D.M.I. technology or how the school provides the implied unique brain development benefits of D.M.I Technology over conventional practices followed in other schools.

9] Mahendra Education Pvt. Ltd (Mahendra’s No.1 Institute): The claim in the advertisement, “No. 1 Institute in India”, was not substantiated.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI deals with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

ASCI is also the “Executive Arm” of the Department of Consumer Affairs handling all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.

EduLegaL View: 

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Coaching Classes and Institutions have overgrown in India due to huge peer pressure and parental aspirations. It is one of the biggest sector, but still unregulated in majority part of the Country. It is high time that this sector is regulated.

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions.

Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these coaching institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Read Earlier Releases by EduLegaL on Misleading Ads in Education Sector:

Advertising Council finds ads of major Coaching Institutes for CAT, IIT and Law to be misleading
Advertising Council finds major Coaching classes Ads to be misleading
Advertising Council finds 41 Educational Ads fake, false, misleading, unsubstantiated
Advertising Council finds Ads of 25 Educational Institutions misleading

Advertising Council finds ads of major Coaching Institutes for CAT, IIT and Law to be misleading

Advertising Council finds ads of major Coaching Institutes for CAT, IIT and Law to be misleading

In a major crackdown on Advertisements released by the Coaching Institutes engaged in field of Coaching Students for CAT, MBA, Law Entrance, IIT, GREE, GMAT, the Advertisement Standard Council of India, has in its decision of October 2015 has found several of their ads to be misleading, unsubstantiated and ambiguous.

These Institutes as per the decision of the Advertising Council have made claims of Ranking in the Entrance Examinations, Number of successful students, Coaching and Learning Material Preparations and Contents, Test Series, Coaching Pedagogy to influence the aspirants to join their Institutes.

In October 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against major Coaching Institutions which operate in MBA / Engineering / Law Domain relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in their Advertisements. The CCC found that claims in the following advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.


  1. Byju Classes: The claims in the advertisement, “Best CAT Coaching Institute in India”, “GMAT Topper”, “Unique CAT Pattern Workshop”, “Can’t Compare with Byju & Santosh”, “Study Material of Most of the Institutes have no value differentiation”, “80% of the students have crossed 90 percentile over the last 5 years”, “Unique Approach to RC”, “Best Team of IAS Trainers”, “India’s No. Aptitude Trainer”, “India’s #1 IAS faculty”, “20,000 test-takers across the country”, “No National Level Tests” and “Best Teachers”, were not substantiated. Other related Ads of BYJU Classes, which were found not to be in accordance with the advertising norms were as follows:

  •  GRE Coaching: The claims in the advertisement, “Why is success guaranteed in GRE with Mumbai’s top GRE coaching classes – BYJU’S classes?”, “60 sec is what you need to crack any verbal question using our Mathematical Approach”, “Best Teacher & comprehensive course content” and “70% of our students cross 320 in GRE with our courses”, were not substantiated.
  • CAT Coaching: The claims in the advertisement, “Bell the CAT with India’s No.1 CAT Trainers”, “2000 students attend BYJU’s Classes together in a single batch in single center – making it India’s Biggest Classroom” and “Byju Raveendran serial CAT topper & No. 1 trainer for the CAT”, were not substantiated.
  • GMAT Coaching Classes: The claims in the advertisement, “70% of our students have a score of 700+ in GMAT”, “60 sec is what you need to crack any GMAT verbal question using our Patented Mathematical Approach”, “760 is the minimum GMAT score of our trainers” and “We are exclusive education partner with Samsung, The Times of India, The Hindu”, were not substantiated with evidence.
  1. CL Educate Ltd. (Career Launcher): The claims in the advertisement, “CAT Test Series – The No.1 Cat Test Series Program”, “Most recommended test series”, “Rated the best by students”, “True percentile predictor”, were not substantiated adequately.

false advertisement

  1. Rao Edusolutions Pvt Ltd. (Rao IIT Academy): The claims in the advertisement, “India’s most dominating results in JEE Advanced 2015”, “8 out every 10 RIITians qualify in MH-CET” and “Number of students selected from Mumbai” (graph showing year of JEE Advanced), were not substantiated with supporting data. In another case relating to Rao Edusolutions Pvt Ltd. (Rao IIT Academy), the claim in the advertisement, “Every nine out of ten Rao IIT students qualified for JEE Mains”, was not substantiated with evidence/ supporting data.
  1. Exam Victor (Online MBA Entrance Coaching): The claims in the advertisement, “India’s Finest Online MBA Entrance Coaching. Period”, “The Best Faculty-Each lecture, every problem and each video is painstakingly hand-crafted by Vivek, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Ahmedabad. So you can rest assured that your study material is of the highest quality”, “Individual Attention-Making you an Exam Victor is our only priority. We leverage the best technology and cutting- edge analytics to closely follow your progress and provide you timely feedback”, “How is learning online with ExamVictor better?” and “Most classes employ regular graduates of variable quality”, were not substantiated.
  1. IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. (MBA CET): The advertiser argues that the term “Trusted for Success” is their logo and 15000+ students enrolling with their institute signifies their trust in the institute. The CCC did not consider enrolment of students to be necessarily an indicator of their trust in the institute. Hence, the CCC concluded that the claim in the complaint, “Trusted by 15000+ students for MBA CET since 2009”, when read in conjunction with the term “Trusted for Success” is misleading by ambiguity. 10. CATKing (CAT Toppers): The claims in the advertisement, “CAT King No.1 CAT Classes in Borivali, Andheri & Powai”, “Best you can get” and “Prof Rahul Singh further went to Harvard Business School for his masters in management”, were not substantiated.
  1. IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. (CAT Training): The claims in the advertisement accompanied by a visual and cited in the complaint “Closest to CAT” was not adequately substantiated by comparative data versus other similar institutes. Also, the claim support data for “Designed by 5-time 100 percentiler” was not considered acceptable and authentic.
  1. CETKing Education: The claims in the advertisement, “Home of Toppers” with photographs of 3 students who have been toppers in entrance test, “Results:700+ IIM Calls, 200+ JBIMS Calls, 358 IIM Converts, 236 SYMBIOSIS, 63 NMIMS,18 TISS, 19 MICA .. many more”, were not substantiated with evidence. Other advertisements not found to be in order was the claim in the advertisement, “CET King No.1 in Dadar” “CET King Dadar Best Coaching available” “Increase your mark by 40 marks” “Guaranteed Admissions in top B- Schools”, were not substantiated with evidence.
  1. CATKing (CLAP Digital Marketing Course): The claims in the advertisement, “Certification from a Harvard Business School Alumni”, and claims with reference to Mr Rahul Singh – “He is a CAT 99.99% in Verbal Ability”, “He scored 780/800 in GMAT”, “He scored 340/340 in GRE and became the World’s Rank 1 GRE Topper”, “He ranks 14th in the world for teaching English”, “He pursued his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai” and “He also achieved a degree in Master of Information Technology from Virginia Tech”, were not substantiated with authentic evidence.
  1. Cheil India P. Ltd (Samsung Smart Learning): The claims, “Best test preparation institutes onboard ”, “Best in class content partners”, “Aakash is the premier institute for preparation of medical, engineering & foundation level entrance exams in India”, “Byju has revolutionized Indian education”, were not substantiated with authentic supporting data to prove the credentials of their partners.
  1. CL Educate Ltd. (CL LST): The claim in the advertisement, “8 consecutive CLAT toppers till date”, was not substantiated.
  1. Clat Possible: The CCC concluded that in the context of the coaching for Law Entrance exam being offered in the Institute, the claim in the Website, “Surabhi Modi Sahai has won Fulbright Scholarship”, is misleading by ambiguity as claim support was for Ms Modi to be a Hindi Teaching Assistant under Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
  1. Triumphant Institute of Management Education P. Ltd: The claim in the advertisement, “Karnak Verma makes history by ranking All India 3rd in IAS CSAT exam”, is false and misleading as no such rankings are given by Union Public Service Commission who conduct the CSAT exam.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI deals with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

ASCI is also the “Executive Arm” of the Department of Consumer Affairs handling all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.

EduLegaL View:

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Coaching Classes and Institutions have overgrown in India due to huge peer pressure and parental aspirations. It is one of the biggest sector, but still unregulated in majority part of the Country. It is high time that this sector is regulated.

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these coaching institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Read Earlier Releases by EduLegaL on Misleading Ads in Education Sector:

Advertising Council finds major Coaching classes Ads to be misleading

Advertising Council finds 41 Educational Ads fake, false, misleading, unsubstantiated

Advertising Council finds Ads of 25 Educational Institutions misleading

 

 

 

Advertising Council finds major Coaching classes Ads to be misleading

Advertising Standards Council of India [ASCI] has been receiving several complaints from parents and students against misleading claims being made in advertisement of various educational institutions pertaining to claims of success in competitive examinations, guaranteed placement and passing, recognition and affiliation institution, ranking of the institutions, nomenclature of degrees etc.

In September 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against major Coaching Institutions which operate in MBA / Engineering Domain relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in nature of Ranking / Award / Recognitions/ Placement Claim / Success Claim / Skill Acquisition / Achievements in Competitive Examinations.

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

  1. CL Educate Limited (CAT Coaching): The claim in the advertisement, “5911 IIM Calls by 973 CL students from Delhi/NCR in CAT 2014”, was not substantiated.
  1. Shri Maharana Pratap Private ITI: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Government Job provided if they do courses from Shri Maharana Paratap ITI” and “Number of jobs in govt. sector 15000 and private sector 5,00,000”, were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement was designed to look like editorial matter, which was found to be misleading.
  1. Sea Academy- The claim in the Advertisement, “100% Pass Guarantee Coaching”, was not substantiated.

false advertisement

  1. Aakash Educational Services Pvt. Ltd. (Aakash Institute): The advertiser claiming that Twins, Rahul Bansal and Sahil Bansal (AIIMS-2015 ranks 23 and 40) were from their coaching institutes was not substantiated with authentic evidence.
  1. Institute of Advance Network Technology: The claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, “only institute in India which offers to students five international, nine participation and one IANT totaling 15 certificates”, “A student may get only one IANT Certificate or depending on the courses he chooses, participating companies be offering their certificates”, “100% job guarantee”, “its IT Job Portal is the only one available in India”, “Once they complete the course, they can earn annually from Rs.78000/- to Rs. 4,60,000/- as salary”, “No.1 Hardware Networking and Software training institute”, “No.1 Infrastructure” and “No.1 Quality Education”, were not substantiated.
  1. CL Educate Ltd. (All India Mock IBPS PO Preliminary examination): The claims in the advertisement, “Compete with aspirants from 200 cities” and “Over 1.2 million students trust CL with their exam preparation every year”, were not substantiated.
  1. AIM Study Center: The claim in the Advertisement, “100% Job Guarantee or else money back”, was not substantiated.

EduLegaL View:

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Coaching Classes and Institutions have overgrown in India due to huge peer pressure and parental aspirations. It is one of the biggest sector, but still unregulated in majority part of the Country. It is high time that this sector is regulated.

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these educational institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in