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CCPA drafts guidelines to curb coaching centres from making misleading ads: PTI

The guidelines will be applicable to all coaching centres, covering all forms of ads regardless of format or medium.

Consumer Affairs Ministry emphasised that coaching institutes cannot assert that all their students secure job or college placements, aiming to combat misleading claims, as reported by PTI.

Rohit Kumar Singh, chief commissioner and consumer affairs secretary , Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), convened a meeting with coaching industry leaders to deliberate on draft guidelines, as per the ministry's statement.

CCPA has prepared draft guidelines outlining 'dos and don'ts' to deter coaching institutes from making 'false claims' about candidate success rates in advertisements.

As per the statement, coaching institutes must accompany a successful candidate's photo with essential information. This includes specifying the rank, course type, duration, and whether it's a free or paid course. Additionally, the guidelines prohibit institutes from making assertions like '100% selection,' '100% job guaranteed,' or ensuring success in preliminary or mains exams.

The guidelines outline circumstances under which an advertisement from a coaching institute could be deemed misleading as per the Consumer Protection Act 2019. This includes instances where crucial information regarding the courses chosen by successful candidates (whether free or paid), the course duration, among other factors, is concealed.

“The guidelines also state that coaching institutes will not make false claims regarding success rates or number of selections and any other practices that may lead to consumer misunderstanding or subvert consumer autonomy and choice," CCPA said in a statement.

The meeting included representatives from the Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Education, National Law University Delhi, FIITJEE, Khan Global Studies, Ikigai Law, and Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.

The committee stressed the immediate necessity of releasing the discussed draft guidelines.

In 2023, CCPA issued notices to 31 coaching institutes and penalised nine for deceptive advertising. These institutes were found to deliberately withhold critical details such as the chosen courses by successful candidates, course duration, and fees paid, misleading consumers.

Image credit- Business Standard

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