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CCPA cracks down on UPSC toppers' ad deals with coaching classes: Mint report

The gov body says such ads are misleading and unfair trade practices.

Successful UPSC candidates will have to terminate their contracts with coaching classes that use their images to attract aspirants in exchange for money.

A Mint report says this development comes after the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) said the way coaching institutes use photos of IAS (Indian Administrative Service) toppers in their ads falls under the ‘misleading advertisement’ and ‘unfair trade practices’ clauses of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

In the letter that the CCPA wrote to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), the cadre-controlling authority of all officers selected under the UPSC exam, it suggested that the DoPT enforce the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, for all candidates who continue to feature in ads for coaching classes and as their brand ambassadors for the whole year.

CCPA, Mint writes, has issued notices to 20 IAS coaching institutes, including Vajirao & Reddy Institute, Sriram’s IAS and Drishti IAS, for misleading consumers by concealing important information.

The paper illustrates the example of Vajirao & Reddy Institute which claimed 617 students from their centre cleared the UPSC exams in 2022. In its reply to CCPA, it said all of them were from the interview guidance programme, and not from its expensive foundation courses. 

Cover image credit: Quora

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