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IIT-FIITJEE dispute continues, Delhi Metro covers up logo at station

The FIITJEE signage at the IIT-Delhi metro station has been a point of contention for months now with the national institute objecting to the coaching institute’s logo on the grounds that it could mislead students into thinking there was a tie-up.

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2018 10:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Metro,IIT-D metro station,IIT-Delhi
The FIIT JEE Logo put under covers after court orders, at IIT Metro station (Pics for Fareeha Ifikhar story) in New Delhi, India, on Friday, September 28, 2018. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times)(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) temporarily covered all mentions of coaching institute FIITJEE from the name of the Metro station at Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) till an issue pertaining to the size of the display of a disclaimer is resolved.

In May, the Delhi high court had ordered the DMRC to put up a disclaimer telling commuters that there was no connection between the IIT-D and the coaching institute.

Earlier this year, the IIT-D had objected to the signage installed at the Metro station that read “FIITJEE IIT”. The signage was a part of a revenue generation plan by DMRC which assigned sponsors to Metro stations.

IIT-D had raised the matter with DMRC, the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry and the Union urban development ministry saying that the station name could mislead students into thinking the institute has a tie-up with FIITJEE. IIT-D had also filed a petition in the Delhi High Court.

In an order in May, the HC had ordered DMRC to put up a disclaimer telling commuters that there was no connection between the coaching institute and the institution. IIT-D had contended that the rider must be “large enough to be read by commuters”.

DMRC, meanwhile, clarified it had leased out the station’s branding to a third party licensee which, in turn, struck the deal with FIITJEE for the station’s name. “The DMRC gives the station out to a licensee and they in turn give it out to a firm to co-brand it,” a Metro spokesperson said.

The dispute on the size of the disclaimer is between FIITJEE and the licensee, DMRC said. “The FIIT-JEE branding has been temporarily covered till all issues pertaining to the display of the disclaimer are finalised between the (third-party) licensee and the brand (FITJEE),” a Metro spokesperson said on Friday.

IIT-D, in its plea, said it has been receiving queries and complaints from aspiring candidates, parents and even alumni, asking if FIITJEE was an “official” coaching partner for IIT-D. “We had received inquiries from alumni and students asking if we have entered in collaboration with FIITJEE. And, that’s why we had raised the matter the authorities and also filed a writ petition. The DMRC, however, has not sent any communication to us regarding the temporary removal of the brand name,” said IIT-D registrar Sandeep Chatterjee.

FIITJEE director RL Trikha denied comment on the issue saying the matter was subjudice.

DMRC has been co-branding several of its stations to generate revenue since 2014 and, at present, has auctioned the naming rights of over 40 stations.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 10:39 IST