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 41 Educational Ads fake, false, misleading, unsubstantiated

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 guaranteed placement and passing, recognition and affiliation institution, ranking of the institutions, nomenclature of degrees etc.

In August 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints in 41 advertisements in the Education category relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in nature of Ranking / Award / Recognitions/ Placement Claim / Success Claim / Skill Acquisition in Competitive Examinations.

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 41 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

 

Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.

  1. Personaliteez: The advertisement’s claim, “Making 2 lakhs per weekend”, was not substantiated.
  1. Peoples Empowerment Group – ISB&M School of Technology: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Placement” and “ISB&M School of Technology Ranked 8th in Emerging Engineering Institutes in India”, were not substantiated.
  1. NIPS School of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement, “World Record Holder”, “Ranked No. 1 Eastern India the Pioneer Newpaper 2014”, “Best Placement Award- By South Asian Academy, New Delhi, 2012”, “Ranked No. 2 Among India’s Private Hotel Management Institute – The Pioneer Newspaper – 2013”, “Holder of Limca, Asia & India Books Of Records”, “Eastern India’s Best Hotel Management College- Awarded By Brands Academy, New Delhi – 2013”, “Winner 8th National Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi- 2014”, “Winner National W.B Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi – 2014” and “Worldwide Hospitality Award- Awarded by WWHA, Paris, France- 2003”, were not adequately substantiated with evidence.
  1. The Mentor’s Academy: The claims in the advertisement stating, “Get a reputed Government job. Get Bank, Railway, Police etc. in just one day exam”, and “100% Money Back Guarantee”, were not substantiated.
  1. CL Educate Ltd (Career Launcher): The claims in the advertisement stating, “CAT Test Series – The No.1 CAT Test Series Program”, “Most recommended test series”, “Rated the best by students” and “True percentile predictor”, were not substantiated adequately.
  1. SCMS School of Engineering & Technology: The claim, “Kerala’s No. 1 Engineering College (SF) in quality and excellence”, was not substantiated with comparative data.. The claim, “SCMS is ranked No. 1 in all ranking surveys conducted by RECCA-NIT”, was not substantiated with supporting data and also the claim is misleading by omission of what the ranking was specific to.
  1. Invertis University: The advertisement claims, “National Education Award 2014 for Outstanding B-School & Engg. Univ. – ABP”, “4 Star Ranking – The Pioneer”, “Bharat Shiksh Ratan – Velidicted by GAF, Delhi” and “Best Emerging University Of North India – Indian Achievers Podium”, were not adequately substantiated and were misleading by omission of disclaimers.
  1. Career Institute for Commerce & Accounting: The claim in the Advertisement, “AIR- 26, 30, 36, 37, 41, 42” as a declaration is considered to be fake and not substantiated with supporting data.

Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’:

Vidyalankar Classes, Vivekananda Degree & PG College, Aim Entertainment Acting Academy, Learn & Earn Academy, Master of Science Information & Technology, Mediit Educational Institute, ADCC Infocad Private Limited (ADCC Academy), Wisdom Institute, Sri Shakthi Institute Of Engineering & Technology, Ponjesly College of Engineering, Vidyalankar Classes, One Dream, Blue Bells Innovative School, UEI Global Education, Tajinder Bhatia Achieve Max, Vidya Knowledge Park, MIST Plus, Happy Child College of Nursing, Sai Wellness Education, The Prayag International Institute of Hotel &Tourism, All India Computer Trainers Association, IPCA Accountancy, Millennium Institute of Management, Banda Para College Medical, KIPM College of Engineering & Technology, ISC CNC Training Centre, Chalapathi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, National Power Training Institute Corporate Centre, Centre for Bioinformatics, SKML Defence Academy, Mangayarkarasi Educational Trust (Mangayarkarasi College of Arts & Science), NIV Foundations (NIV School of Hospitality Management) and Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Delhi School of Business).

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:

 Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. A career has lot of emotions attached to it. Parents make great personal sacrifices to enable their children to get the right education. 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 |

“HOW TO GET GRADE “A” in NAAC WORKSHOPS”, NAAC cautions Institutions

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has warned the academic community to be cautious about the false and misleading advertisements by some agencies / organizations, who are organizing and also publicizing many such workshop, with the headline “HOW TO GET GRADE “A” in NAAC”.

NAAC has also come to learn that in these workshops, the agencies promise to render services / expertise in SSR preparations to be submitted to NAAC, useful tips to achieve goods, making up some deficiencies by ad-hoc arrangements. Their claim reaches optimum when they say they will facilitate NAAC Visits and interaction with NAAC Officials.

NAAC Director has come out with strong clarification and has requested Institutions from entering into any transaction with such persons or attend their workshops / programmes. Director, NAAC has further clarified that NAAC has not authorized any agency / organization to conduct such workshop. It has also given any consent to any organization to provide services for preparing SSR and presentations during NAAC visit.

He has further clarified that NAAC Assessment and Accreditation process is completely transparent and assessment is purely based on performance of the Institution on the Seven Criteria.

NAAC is an autonomous Institutions of University Grants Commission (UGC), to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country.

Assessment and Accreditation is broadly used for understanding the “Quality Status” of an institution. In the context of Higher Education, the accreditation status indicates that the particular Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) – meets the standards of quality, in terms of its performance, related to the educational processes and outcomes, covering the curriculum, teaching-learning, evaluation, faculty, research, infrastructure, learning resources, organisation, governance, financial well being and student services.

EduLegal View:

In the year 2012, UGC has notified UGC (Mandatory Assessment and accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2012, which makes it mandatory for educational institutions to participate in accreditation process. It also provides for punitive measures if the Institutions fail to participate in the process, like withholding of grant, revocation of affiliation.

In our country, with “compulsion” comes the “corruption” and such activities are routine. False and Misleading Advertisement is really hitting the education sector and it is high time that regulators should frame strict laws to deal with such situation. These advertisements are actually killing the system.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Advertising Council finds Ads of 25 Educational Institutions misleading

In July 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints in 25 advertisements in the Education category relating to misleading advertisements in nature of Ranking / Award / Placement Claim / Success Claim / Skill Acquisition in Competitive Examinations.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) 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.

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 25 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

ASCI has banned misleading Ads by following Educational Institutions:

  1. Southern Academy Maritime Studies: The claim in the TVC, “if anybody who is willing to study in this college, can get a job as a Captain in a Ship and can earn upto 60 Lakhs per Annum”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
  1. Aakash Educational Services Pvt. Ltd. (Aakash Institute): The advertisement claims that Twins Rahul Bansal and Sahil Bansal (AIIMS-2015 ranks 23 and 40) and Yuvraj, (AIIMS-2015 rank 11) are from their coaching institute. This was false and was not substantiated.
  1. Hansa Medcell: The claim in the advertisement, “Gain specialist skills without sacrificing daily clinical practice”, is misleading since “Distance Education” cannot allow oneto gain specialist skills in gastroenterology, cardiology etc., since all these specialities involve very special procedures like OGD Scopy and Colonoscopy (Crastroenthrology) and Angiography, Angioplasty (Cardiology) etc. As per clause 7.20 of MCI Act (Amendment 2002) one can’t call oneself a specialist unless one has acquired specialist qualifications. The Medical Council does not offer recognition to distance education programmes. In addition the claim, “provide One year distance education of post- graduation programs from prestigious American college of gastroenterology John Hopkins University School of medicine”, was false and misleading by ambiguity.
  1. Shri Maharana Pratap Private ITI: The advertisement claims, “no university or institutions are valid to provide any certifications in fire and safety except Shri Maharana Pratap ITI” and “only 4 institutions in India are valid to provide fire and safety courses”, were not substantiated and were considered to be misleading by ambiguity.
  1. BSE Institute Limited: The claim in the advertisement, “Become a Professional Banker in Just Two Months”, is misleading by ambiguity, as it is offering a “Professional banking program” conducted internally and the jobs being offered were inclusive of basic functions such as Welcome Desk.
  1. National Board of Computer Education: The claims in the advertisement, “Affiliation from International Accreditation Organization (IAO), Houston, U.S.A.”, and “Affiliation from Copy Right Division under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India”, were not substantiated with supporting proof.
  1. AAFT School of Fashion & Design: The claim in the advertisement, “The only Fashion School associated with Film Industry”, was not substantiated.
  1. Padmashri K. K. Shastri Educational Campus: The use of Padmashree prefix before a name as used in the advertisement confers an unjustified advantage on the advertised product (Educational Campus) as such reference. This violates Chapter I.3 of the ASCI code.
  1. CL Educate Ltd: The claim in the advertisement, “61/100 toppers in CLAT ’15 are LSTians”, was not substantiated.
  1. Global Inc Training Centre: The claims in the advertisement, “Assured C.T.C. Rs.14K to Rs.22K per Month” and “100% Guaranteed Placement under Money Bank (OR MONEY BACK) Scheme”, were not substantiated adequately with supporting data.
  1. Rabiya Industrial Training Institute: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Job” and “The One and Only One Accredited Learning Center in State of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal & Jharkhand”, were not substantiated.
  1. The English Square: The claim in the advertisement, “Learn to speak fluent English in just 100 hours with 100% Guarantee”, was not substantiated.

Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’:

Endeavor, Indus Early Learning Centre, Thangavelu College Engineering, Indian Institute of Medical Representative Private Limited, GCS Institute of Computer Technology, Rama Naidu Film School, Patel Computers, Red & Multimedia Education White, Shree Venkateshwara Hi-Tech Engineering College, Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Technology & Science, Career Master, Capital Infosys Institute of Hotel Management & Tourism and Brilliant Tutorial.

ASCI is recognized under ‘The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994’ which states that ‘No advertisement which violates the Code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai, for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service’.

EduLegaL View:

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. A career has lot of emotions attached to it. Parents make great personal sacrifices to enable their children to get the right education. 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.

The Argument can continue!

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in