Taking up cudgels on behalf of IIT-Delhi, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is learnt to have written to Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), seeking his personal intervention in the ongoing row over the name of a Metro station outside the institute’s campus.
The premier engineering institute has objected to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) selling the branding rights of the IIT Metro station to FIITJEE, a private coaching school. This was done as part of DMRC’s revenue generation efforts in which it has been auctioning naming rights for selected Metro stations. The Metro station, as a consequence, now has the name ‘FIITJEE- IIT’ emblazoned on it, which, the institute authorities feel, gives the impression of a partnership between IIT-Delhi and the coaching school.
In addition to filing a petition in the Delhi High Court last month, the institute also approached the HRD Ministry on May 29 informing the government of its concerns.
In a letter written to Mishra last week, a copy of which has also been marked to IIT-Delhi director Ramgopal Rao and DMRC managing director Mangu Singh, the HRD Ministry has endorsed the institute’s concerns.
The letter, sources said, states that many private coaching institutes have come up in the country to help students crack the JEE (Advanced), which is the single gateway to securing a seat in any one of the 23 IITs.
Since FIITJEE is one such tuition centre, its association with IIT-Delhi, even though only on the facade of a Metro station, gives the false impression that it is coaching engineering aspirants in association with IIT-Delhi, it further states.
The HRD Ministry has requested Mishra’s personal intervention in this matter to ensure that the general public is not misled by the association of a coaching institute with IIT-Delhi, The Indian Express has learnt. The Indian Express could not reach Rao for a comment on Monday.
Speaking to The Indian Express earlier, he had expressed unhappiness over the institute not being consulted by DMRC even though the Metro station was built on its land. “The station is inside IIT-Delhi; we gave land to DMRC and it’s being named after FIITJEE, a private coaching institute. This creates a direct conflict of interest. People are getting misled by the signage, thinking we have a contract with them,” he had said.
“We only got to know of FIITJEE’s name being used when the signage was put up. That is when we approached the DMRC. They told us that the contract had already been given, so nothing could be done, and that if the contract had to be breached, IIT should compensate FIITJEE. We said why should we pay? So, we went to the Delhi High Court,” he had further said.
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