Nisha Qureshi

FIITJEE doxxes former student and claims superiority by linking rival with history of student suicides in HT print ad

The provocative ad, published in the newspaper’s Sunday edition, aimed to promote the coaching centre’s classroom program.

Competitive exam training institute FIITJEE’s print ad published in Sunday’s Hindustan Times is drawing anger and flak from audiences.

In a bizarre move, the print ad has published a photograph of a young student and claimed that the student has scored less marks in her exams because she opted to leave FIITJEE midway and joined the competition’s institute.

The ad further addresses the competition institute as ‘EVIL’ and also points out that the competition institute has a history of student suicides.

The print ad published in the 17th March, 2024 edition of HT
The print ad published in the 17th March, 2024 edition of HT

The content of the ad is being called out for being distasteful and degrading. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Katyayani Sanjiv Bhatia also took to twitter to express the problematic themes in the ad.

“To publish a student's picture in a national daily saying that they couldn't perform is disgusting and puts such undue pressure on students,” says Bhatia.

Lloyd Mathias, business strategist, appealed for ASCI to look into the matter

While other internet users called out the ad for lacking empathy and expressed their disappointment and anger.

The print ad comes at a time when the country’s youth faces immense pressure and expectations from parents and teachers to succeed in academics. The scenario is even worse when it comes to exams like NEET, IIT and JEE. The public shaming a young student for scoring relatively lesser marks as well as the institute’s move to leverage tragic suicides to their benefit has left audiences baffled.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) had issued draft guidelines for curbing misleading coaching sector ads in February 2024. The draft guidelines had mentioned that omitting crucial details such as course names and durations chosen by successful candidates in ads is deemed misleading.

The guidelines had also mentioned that coaching centres cannot use names, photos, testimonials or videos of successful candidates in advertisements without their express consent. Coaching centres also cannot make false claims like ‘100% selection’ or ‘100% job guaranteed’ or ‘guaranteed admission’ to institutions or false testimonials of successful students or fake reviews.

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