WhatsApp Message on Raghuram Rajan’s COVID-19 Webinar is Fake

In a LinkedIn post, the former RBI governor said that he had not participated in any such webinar.

Updated23 Apr 2020, 04:56 AM IST
WebQoof
3 min read

CLAIM

A viral message on social media claims that former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan chaired a webinar on coronavirus organised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The message mentions the key takeaways of the same. Some of which include: “India seems to have suppressed the curve so far, emotional and economic backlash against China is expected, economy was in poor shape even before COVID, the government has little leeway to provide large stimulus.”

The message has been widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.

You can view the archived version <a href="http://archive.is/IQpvG">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)
You can view the archived version<a href="http://archive.is/wwZ5Y"> here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

The message is also being attributed to Darshan Mehta, CEO of Reliance Brands Limited.

You can view the archived version here.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)
You can view the archived version <a href="http://archive.is/c9DKM">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

The Quint received a query on the claim being made in the message on its WhatsApp helpline.

TRUE OR FALSE?

The message is being falsely attributed to former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. In a LinkedIn post, he said that he had not participated in any such webinar and the claims being made in the viral message are false.

(Click here for live updates on COVID-19. Also visit Quint Fit for comprehensive coverage on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We scanned through the website of IMF, and could not find any such webinar.

HOW TRUE IS THE CLAIM ON DARSHAN MEHTA?

A source close to Darshan Mehta, CEO, Reliance Brands told The Quint that he had participated in a webinar on 5 April as the only speaker, which was hosted by Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO).

“Mr Darshan Mehta had indeed participated as the only speaker in a webinar hosted by the Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) on 5th April. While Mr Mehta is not aware whether the webinar was recorded or not, neither he nor JITO have made any written transcription of what he spoke. It seems one of the participants of the webinar has transcribed the key pieces of that conversation and forwarded the same on WhatsApp. The contents of the message as forwarded on WhatsApp, are by and large a correct and fair representation of what was spoken by him, at the webinar,” the source said.

MEDIUM ARTICLE BASED ON A FACEBOOK POST

Further, the Medium article that is being shared along with the message attributed to Darshan Mehta, has sourced the information from a random Facebook post. The last line of the article reads: “Story based on information available via source.”

A disclaimer at the top of the website mentions that anybody can publish on the online portal.

“Anyone can publish on Medium per our Policies, but we don’t fact-check every story. For more info about the coronavirus, see cdc.gov.”

While the message is being falsely attributed to Raghuram Rajan, the claims made about Darshan Mehta are by and large true, as per a source.

You can read all our fact-checked stories here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Published: 22 Apr 2020, 12:02 PM IST
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