The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has taken a decisive step towards regulating the burgeoning coaching industry in India. In a meeting chaired by Shri Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs and Chief Commissioner of CCPA, the Committee released a draft of comprehensive guidelines aimed at curbing misleading advertisements in the coaching sector.
These guidelines, once implemented, will apply to all coaching institutions, whether they operate online or offline, and will cover all forms of advertisements across various media. The move comes as a response to growing concerns over deceptive practices by some coaching institutes, which often mislead students and parents with inflated success rates and false claims about their educational services.
Key Features of the Guidelines:
- Explicit conditions defining what constitutes a misleading advertisement, in line with the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
- Mandatory disclosure of essential information in advertisements, including the rank of successful candidates, the courses they opted for, the duration of these courses, and whether they are paid or free.
- Prohibition of false claims such as 100% selection rates or guaranteed job placements.
- Standardized font and placement requirements for disclaimers and disclosures in advertisements.
Penalties and Enforcement: The CCPA has clarified that penalties for misleading advertisements will be governed under the existing provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019. The authority has already initiated actions against several coaching institutes, issuing notices and imposing fines for deceptive advertising practices.
Malpractices in the Coaching Industry: Unfortunately, the coaching industry has seen a rise in malpractices, with institutes often concealing important details about courses, misleading students with unverifiable success claims, and promising guaranteed outcomes without evidence. These deceptive tactics not only misguide students but also put undue pressure on them and their families.
The Coaching Culture: India’s coaching culture has become a significant aspect of the education system, with students increasingly relying on these institutes for competitive exam preparation. While these institutions play a role in shaping careers, the lack of regulation has led to a surge in unethical practices, necessitating the introduction of these guidelines.
Implications for Stakeholders: Parents, students, and educators stand to benefit from these new regulations. The guidelines promise more transparency and accountability from coaching institutes, ensuring that students receive honest information to make informed decisions about their education and career paths.
The #prizdaletimes remains committed to keeping its readers informed about these vital developments in the education sector and will continue to report on the implementation and impact of these new guidelines.
Credits: Press Information Bureau