‘IAS Coaching Institute Took Money but Failed To Give Classes, Check Our Papers’
Despite making payments, the institute did not provide me with classes, proper study materials or mock tests.
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
I am a civil services aspirant from Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district. I joined the test series for the Civil Service Mains exam in December last year, about which I got to know through the UPSC Mains Psychology group on Telegram that they take online tests.
I gave them Rs 9,100 via Paytm. In the package, they were supposed to take 12 tests and every test paper would be checked within three days of the test.
But that didn't happen!
When I gave my first test, they didn't respond for 12-13 days. I made several calls and then that test paper was checked but that too wasn't checked properly.
Later, when I gave the next test, my paper wasn't checked and despite making several calls they didn't check it and just made excuses.
After speaking to my fellow aspirants at the institute, I got to know that they too are facing the same issue. A fellow civil services aspirant, Honey George from Kerala had a somewhat similar story.
"I came to know about this institute through the google search option. I spoke with Ritwick Jaiswal, who heads the Psychology subject and also is the in-charge at the institute. I also spoke to Arun Kumar, the director of the institute. Both of them were successful in convincing me to opt for the course for the quality of the course."Honey George, Aspirant
Only Pre-recorded Videos, No Online Classes
"I made the first payment of Rs 12,500 (5 June 2021) and I was granted access to recorded videos. I went through the recorded videos and I found them vague. I was not able to completely comprehend what was being taught. So, I asked Ritwick to provide live sessions as he had mentioned before," says Honey.
On further conversation with her, I got to know that she was not provided with live classes and the people concerned started giving excuses.
"He turned it down saying live sessions are on hold as Prelims 2021 is approaching. I believed that, and I waited for our batch to start. Our batch was supposed to start in mid-September (2021). In between that, 29 days after (5 July 2021) making the first payment, he asked me to make the second payment and I made that of Rs 11,000."Honey George, Aspirant
She waited but proper classes never really happened, and they could arrange for 6-7 sessions only. And it was not just the two of us. There are at least 30-40 students who have been complaining about the issue.
Students Reached Out to Consumer Court
Students have reached out to consumer court, made complaints with the cyber cell, and have been trying every possible way to get justice in the matter.
Another fellow aspirant who refused to be named said,
"After 4 attempts at civil services, I was getting to write the mains exams for the first time. The exam was scheduled for 15 January 2022 and on 1 November 2021, I registered for the test series from Magnus IAS. The test series was worth Rs 10,500. Sixteen tests, classes, one-on-one sessions, and many other things were promised but nothing happened. After we reached out to the consumer forum in January is when we received the first formal mail from Magnus IAS saying that they will refund the money since they couldn't conduct the test series. But they still didn't refund it.Aspirant
"After that, we have gone to the Cyber Cell and have used up all the formal channels, and it's now been 6-7 months but we don't yet have a solution," she adds.
We have been duped into making payments without availing of facilities. We want our money back. They have stopped taking our calls and responding to our messages.
The Quint reached out to the Magnus IAS Coaching Institute for their response. In a written response the institute says, "Our entire course is already published on the website. The classes, notes, study material, etc. Once the student makes the payment and is granted access to the website, he/she gets access and an option to download all our videos and notes."
Regarding the issue of live classes, the institute says, "We have mentioned this clearly on the pricing page and the terms and conditions page as well. That the live classes will be taken only to clarify doubts and they will be held on a complimentary/free basis and that live classes are not a part of the paid program. They are run for everyone and the recordings of the same are available on YouTube."
However, the institute admitted to not being able to take the test series properly, "We have made reimbursements to students who have suffered as we ourselves were having a tough time with our team and their family's health during COVID."
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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