CBI to probe 'credit' tussle over IIT topper

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Old 10-Jul-2010
Post CBI to probe 'credit' tussle over IIT topper

In a step that could check private coaching institutes from poaching successful candidates to make false claims about their strike rate, HRD ministry has ordered a CBI inquiry into specific allegations against two IIT coaching institutes -- FIITJEE and Aakash Institute -- for misusing the name of Nitin Jain, topper of IITJEE and AIEEE in 2009, for commercial gains.

HRD minister Kapil Sibal told TOI, "We want to take on coaching institutes institutionally and otherwise. We have asked CBI to look into the allegations. Appropriate action will be taken against the institutes if found guilty. They have a habit of claiming that toppers studied in their institute."

HRD ministry has already set in motion the process of change in JEE to break the stranglehold of coaching institutes.

Though the initial inquiry might be limited to these two institutes, sources said making false claims about toppers is quite widespread. "Students and parents fall for tall claims made by institutes. The idea (behind the CBI probe) is to save gullible people from such coaching institutes," a source said.

The HRD ministry's action comes in the wake of a complaint by Chiranji Lal Jain, father of Nitin Jain, to Sibal seeking his intervention. The senior Jain told TOI, "Coaching institutes are indulging in big frauds. They are like shops. Let CBI call me and I will expose them."

Jain senior said Nitin never went to Aakash Institute, yet it claimed he was a student there. Even in case of FIITJEE where Nitin studied, he said, the boy was coerced into writing a letter in praise of the institute.

FIITJEE, Jain said, opened a website claiming that the queries of students will be answered directly by Nitin. It even claimed that Nitin went all over the country talking to students about how to crack JEE. "The fact is that Nitin had never visited any of the cities," Chiranji Lal Jain said. He even alleged that the email ID of his son was misused by one of the coaching institutes.

He said misusing the names of toppers is not the only fraud. In this case, he referred to the scheme of scholarship to students by one of the coaching institutes. Jain said, "The institute offers scholarship to students whose parents earn less than Rs 10,000 per month but it asks them to get the income certificate attested by the prime minister, education minister, defence minister, chief minister, judges of the Supreme Court and High Court. How can anyone approach these dignitaries."

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