Mumbai: NEET topper's face in ads of 3 different classes raises hackles

Updated: Jun 11, 2019, 08:10 IST | Pallavi Smart

MCOA claims coaching institutes are misguiding parents with such ads, and now plans to write to the state government demanding a probe; the classes in question state they have mentioned exact details in ads to avoid confusion

Mumbai: NEET topper's face in ads of 3 different classes raises hackles
Prince Academy, Allen Career Institute and (above) Aakash Institute's advertisements featuring NEET topper Nalin Khandelwal

The Maharashtra Class Owners' Association (MCOA) has taken objection to advertisements of coaching institutes for the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET) because this year's all India topper of the prestigious test features in advertisements of three different classes.

Claiming that coaching institutes are misguiding parents with such ads, MCOA plans on writing to the state government, demanding an investigation. The coaching institutes in question have clarified that each advertisement has details mentioned to avoid confusion.

Yearly phenomenon

Nalin Khandelwal, who scored 701 marks, ranked first in NEET's all India merit list. After being in the limelight on the day of the results, he has once again come under the spotlight, this time because his photo was seen in ads for three different coaching institutes - Allen Career Institute, Aakash Institute and Prince Academy.

Interestingly, this is not the first time such a controversy has happened. Last year, Parth Laturia, who ranked third in the all India merit list of JEE, appeared in ads of three different private coaching institutes.

President of MCOA, Sachin Karnavat, said, "It just does not sound right if one candidate was the student of three different coaching institutes at the same time. Somehow, this seems to be a phenomenon every year. We feel that a thorough enquiry should be done in this case so that such misguidance is not repeated. We are not blaming anybody. Be it the mistake of coaching institute or even the parent - strict action should be taken to avoid re-occurrence."

'Very common'

Aakash Institute's senior director, Sanjay Chaudhury said, "The said candidate was a classroom student at the other institute and a distance student in ours. It is very common for students to be associated with two-three coaching institutes, where they regularly attend one and either take up distance learning or test series in the others. The objective is to have study material and notes of different classes for them to study. In Khandelwal's case, our ad clearly mentions that he is a distance learning student."

Allen Career Institute's city admin head Niraj Kumar Poddar said, "Khandelwal was a classroom student of ours and the same has been mentioned in the ad. Prince Academy is the school that he went to."

The placing of details, however, remain a problem. "The institutes post a big photo and 'AIR 1' in a large font whereas details about whether he was a classroom student or distance learning student are mentioned in a smaller font below. Parents or other students seeking admission to medical colleges could get misguided because of this," added Karnavat.

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