Topper finger at IIT coaching centres

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By BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY
  • Published 15.08.10
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New Delhi, Aug. 14: The boy who topped last year’s IIT-JEE exams has accused two private coaching institutes of publishing “misleading advertisements” in his name to claim the entire credit for his success.

Delhi IIT student Nitin Jain also said that FIITJEE, a coaching chain where he trained for his exams, had published a recommendation letter he was “coerced into writing”.

FIITJEE, which has branches across the country, said the allegations levelled by Nitin and his father N.C. Jain were “baseless”.

An official in the HRD ministry told The Telegraph that minister Kapil Sibal had referred the matter to the CBI for an “investigation”.

In a letter to the President, the Prime Minister and Sibal, Nitin and his father said FIITJEE and Aakash, another private institute, had “misused” the topper’s name for commercial interest.

Nitin said FIITJEE published a handwritten endorsement from him urging IIT aspirants to “join FIITJEE”. Nitin does not deny writing it but says he did what the institute asked him to and wasn’t told it would be published as an ad later. The institute, he said, “coerced (him) into writing” the recommendation.

Nitin’s father said FIITJEE had started a website, www.iitjeetopper.com, where an “ask me” column invited queries. “Those queries were answered by the institute in the name of Nitin,” Jain said.

The Faridabad resident said that after he objected, an institute faculty member close to the family sent a letter from “my email ID” authorising FIITJEE to “continue its advertisements” in Nitin’s name.

Jain said he had issued a legal notice to Aakash Institute, which also claimed credit for his son’s success, though Nitin had never enrolled with it. He claimed “false rumours were circulated” that he had taken money for agreeing to these advertisements.

Jain, who filed a complaint with Faridabad police, met Sibal in June. “The minister has referred the matter to the CBI for a proper investigation,” the HRD official said.

FIITJEE director Kalyan Kumar rubbished the allegation that Nitin was coerced into writing the endorsement. “How can anyone make somebody write something?” he asked. Kumar claimed there were video clips on YouTube that had statements by Nitin’s parents in support of FIITJEE.

On the allegation that a faculty member used Jain’s email ID, he said: “The faculty member visited Nitin’s home to help him with his studies. The allegation is baseless.”

At Aakash, Sonia Dhugal, who introduced herself as personal assistant to managing director J.C. Chaudhry, said the MD would get back to The Telegraph. But there has been no response yet.