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Corrected: Arjun ‘error’

New Delhi, Dec. 26: Pune-based MIT School of Government (Mitsog) has dropped claims that it was backed by the human resource development ministry.

The Telegraph had reported on November 5 that the institute had no official support.

The institute, which names some of the country’s top politicians on its faculty, was using a congratulatory letter by HRD minister Arjun Singh to claim it was “commended by” the Centre. The same letter was used by Mitsog to list Singh on its faculty.

Several students at the institute had complained that they had been misled by the term ó “commended by Ministry of HRD”.

Following the report on November 5, the minister wrote a letter to the institute, demanding the removal of the two claims.

“We have decided to remove the ‘commended by’ phrase from the prospectus and from all official documents. We have also removed the minister’s name from the faculty,” said Pardeep Kumar, Mitsog associate director.

The words, “commended by”, were removed immediately after the report was published, Kumar said, adding that the institute never intended to mislead anyone.

In his reply to the minister, Vishwanath D. Karad, the founder of Mitsog, accepted the institute’s “error”.

“I would like to humbly submit that we shall delete the name of the Human Resource Minister from the list of faculty. Similarly, as regards the issue of using the words ‘commended by MHRD’, these words have also been deleted from our new prospectus and brochure.

“I would like to assure you this error will not be repeated. I feel extremely sorry for the embarrassment caused to you in this regard,” Karad’s letter said.

But the “commendation” and the faculty list with the minister’s name figured on the Mitsog website late tonight. Kumar said the institute was “unaware” of it and would correct the content.

Higher education regulatory authorities accepted that Mitsog’s “error” was an example of the government’s failure to verify claims made by fast-proliferating institutes.

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