Consumer protection regulator CCPA has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Khan Study Group (KSG) for misleading ads and unfair trade practices.
KSG claimed that all the top 5 successful candidates of the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2022 are from its coaching institute.
In an official statement, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh for misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice on Khan Study Group (KSG).
The decision was taken to safeguard consumer rights across the country.
In view of the violation of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the CCPA, headed by Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare and Commissioner Anupam Mishra, have issued an order against Khan Study Group (KSG) for misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice. KSG advertised misleading claims.
"Every year when Union Public Service Commission's (UPSC) Civil Services Exam result comes out, various IAS coaching institutes start an advertisement blitzkrieg claiming successful candidates to be their students.
"Coaching Institutes use pictures and names of toppers and successful candidates to influence prospective aspirants, without disclosing the courses opted by such candidates or the fees paid by them & length of the course so attended," the statement said.
Therefore, CCPA took suo-moto cognisance and issued notices to various IAS coaching institutes and Khan Study Group is one of them.
"Khan Study Group in its advertisement made the following claims - 682 out of 933 selected students are from KSG. All top 5 successful candidates of UPSC Civil Services Exam 2022 are from KSG. Ishita Kishore AIR 1 UPSC 2022 is from KSG. Best IAS Coaching Institute for General Studies and CSAT in India," the statement said.
In its preliminary inquiry, CCPA found out that KSG advertised various types of courses but the information with respect to the course opted by the advertised successful candidates in UPSC exam 2022 was concealed in the said advertisement.
Accordingly, a notice was issued to Khan Study Group on August 3, 2023.
"The institute in its response submitted that out of 682 successful candidates showcased in the impugned advertisement by KSG, 674 took Mock Interview Program which is a free of cost program," the statement said.
DG (Investigation) CCPA was requested for a detailed investigation into the matter.
"It was found in the investigation report that out of 682, only 8 successful candidates took guidance for additional courses that too in previous years. This fact was not disclosed in their advertisements, thereby deceiving consumers into believing that such successful candidates owe their success to said institution," the statem