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Management guru turned into millionaire educationist, Arindam Choudhuri had once gained immense popularity for offering ‘quality’ management courses. However, soon enough it was revealed that what he offered as MBA and BBA, were nothing but glorified ‘certificate courses’. In a situation where scores of engineering and MBA graduates were walking around jobless, Indian Institute of Planning and Management was busy convincing naive aspirants of placements along with attractive packages only if they would enroll themselves in the institute’s ultra-expensive courses. Also Read - HRD Ministry Clarifies That It Didn't Ask Universities to Track Students’ Social Media Posts
Few decades back, education as a right received minimal attention in almost all developing countries, including India. But, when UNESCO highlighted education as a prerequisite to development, a visible change began to unfold. To some, it was time to identify education as a tool to eradicate poverty. To others, the time was ripe to mint as much money as possible. Therefore, under the garb of ensuring education to all, several private players entered the education sector with promises ranging from paid internships to practical knowledge to foreign trips, free laptops and even providing attractive job packages immediately following the course. Also Read - CAT Admit Card 2019 Out Now on Official Website at iimcat.ac.in
One of the prominent names among such private players who have immensely gained from the education business is Arindam Chaudhuri. The strength of Choudhuri was his efficient use of media. No educational institution in his league has used the medium of communication as effectively to promote the courses offered. The rise of Arindam Chaudhary could be traced back to 2009 with the launch of his five-day written book, ‘Discover the diamond within you’. The book launch was heavily covered by leading publications in what could be called as paid publicity. According to experts, the book targeted towards student population was a kind of manifesto of IIPM to convince aspirants to join the b-school. (READ: Arindam Chaudhuri’s IIPM to close campuses from October 2015)
Sooner than later, the person who wanted to serve as an inspiration to millions of students was beginning to get exposed. The alumnus of IIPM started bashing the institute over social media calling it fake, and its claims as ‘highly fabricated’. “The institute charges lakhs of rupees (say Rs 12 to 15 lakh) for an MBA degree and it is only after taking the admission that the student gets to know that they provide only certificate courses. We got convinced by the advertisements in the newspapers that clearly mentioned MBA degrees. I feel ashamed to be a part of the institute which is nothing but a scam,” rues Akash Ahuja who passed out from the IIPM in 2013.
Ahuja is also facing trouble repaying the educational loan his father had taken hoping that he would get the placement from the institute. To many of the alumni, the institute is nothing but a ‘money-making body that tries to suck money from students in any form.’ For instance, Deepak Vashishta, a student of the 2013 MBA batch, could not appear for some papers due to some personal reasons. However, when he enquired about reappearing for the tests, he was in for a shock. “They informed me that the fee to reappear for the written exam was Rs 2,500 per subject and that of a super viva-voce scheme was Rs 5,000 per subject. I had 10 exams to clear and I had already paid lakhs of rupees as my course fee. Exposing the hollowness of the institution, one ex-student recalled that he had missed the mandatory entrance exam. Even then he was called by the institution and offered admission.
In a bid to control the growing flak, Arindam Chaudhuri filed defamation suits and got 73 blogs running against him on the internet blocked. However, in 2013, the University Grants Commission and AICTE filed complaint against IIPM, and listed it as a fake university. When the matter reached the Delhi High court, it barred the IIPM from offering BBA or MBA courses or advertising itself as a business school.
The whatsoever remaining reputation of IIPM was lost in May 2015 when the Delhi Police registered an FIR on behalf of UGC against Arindam Chaudhuri for ‘misleading’, ‘cheating’ and ‘fooling’ the students. On seeing its credibility absolutely dented, the management guru finally decided to close down the operations of his institute.