CCPA probing 20 IAS coaching centres for misleading ads, unfair trade practices

The CCPA is investigating 20 IAS coaching centres for allegedly misleading advertisements and unfair trade practices. not disclosing important information about successful students, using toppers' and successful candidates' names and pictures to influence prospective aspirants, etc.
CCPA probing 20 IAS coaching centres for misleading ads, unfair trade practices

New Delhi | Consumer protection regulator CCPA on Monday said it is probing 20 IAS coaching centres for alleged misleading advertisements and unfair trade practices of using toppers and successful candidates' names and pictures to influence prospective aspirants.

Briefing media, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) Chairperson Nidhi Khare said out of 20 institutes, a penalty of Rs 1 lakh each has also been imposed on four centres -- Rau's IAS Study Circle, Chahal Academy, IQRA IAS and IAS Baba.

Notices have been issued to Vajirao & Reddy Institute, Chahal Academy, Khan Study Group IAS, APTI Plus, Analog IAS, Shankar IAS, Sriram's IAS, BYJU's IAS, Unacademy, NEXT IAS, Drishti IAS, IQRA IAS, Vision IAS, IAS Baba, Yojana IAS, Plutus IAS, ALS IAS, Rau's IAS Study Circle and Dhishti IAS, she added.

"The notices have been issued in the last one-and-half years for deliberately concealing important information about successful students. We have imposed a penalty on four centres, while other cases are under investigation," Khare said.

Usually, several coaching institutes go on an advertising spree after the results of the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exam are announced. On average, 900 students clear the UPSC exam every year out of more than 10 lakh students, she said.

The official said after the UPSC final results in 2022, a total of 933 candidates were recommended. However, the total selections claimed by the 20 institutes exceeded the UPSC's recommendations significantly.

Numerous coaching institutes claim the same rank holder as their student by deliberately concealing important information. The successful candidate might have taken coaching in multiple institutes for different subjects, and for prelim or main exams, she said.

Further, Khare said they are not clearly disclosing what courses they were enrolled in with the institute. Some might have just taken a 'free mock interview', but the institute claims success once the students get through the UPSC.

Disclosing the kind of courses the successful student has undertaken with an institute is important to protect the interest of prospective aspirants. Else a prospective student gets enrolled for a prelim coaching in an institute which does not have a good track record of the students passing that exam, she said.

Prospective aspirants continue to take coaching from such centres and waste their time and money, she added.

"If there are proper disclosures, there will be less deceiving," Khare added.

According to CCPA, the current market revenue of the coaching industry in India is about Rs 58,088 crore. Approximately 2 lakh students move to Kota in Rajasthan annually, while Delhi is often considered the hub of UPSC-CSE coaching.

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