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Amidst communal controversy, Unacademy plans to strengthen grievance redressal system

MBBS student from AIIMS-Delhi & edtech unicorn Unacademy (where he is a content affiliate), drew flak on social media for all wrong reasons hosting a skit that mocked a famous religious epic. Social media users rebuked the take on the Ramayana and said that the students have insulted the Hindu religion in their attempt to be humorous. The AIIMS students’ body and the students who posted the video, have claimed that this was in light fun and jest.

Unacademy was later dragged into the controversy, where the NEET topper is a contributor for content on study tips and techniques through Unacademy Vlog. Social media users also alleged that while the students insulted the Hindu epic, Unacademy had supported the “mockery of Sanatana Dharma” by putting up the video on its platform.

While Aftab is neither an educational contributor nor a teacher at Unacademy, he was an affiliate with the firm. The startup partners with several affiliates ex-students, industry mavericks, etc who upload short snippets such as exam prep guides, brand partnerships and conversations between people at Unacademy and coaches, etc.

The video in question was claimed to be created for and in affiliation with the Unacademy Vlog. While it was uploaded on Aftab’s personal YouTube channel AIIMS Insider, the video reportedly ended with a logo of Unacademy Vlogs.

This created a row on social media with people questioning Unacademy’s commitment towards the religious sentiments of its users and the public at large. It led to the “#ShameOnUncademy” trend on Twitter.

Post this incident, Gaurav Munjal, cofounder, Unacademy, took to social media to address the issue and quoted monthly numbers such as 4K+ teachers, 1.5 Lakh classes and 6 Cr+ students, to adduce that the startup has a massive scale. “Since we cannot monitor each and every Live Class manually, we will build strong reporting systems. And, whenever there are any lapses that violate our guidelines, we will take due action,” he said, mirroring the idea of grievance panels.

According to Munjal, the startup plans to make an open and transparent reporting process for grievances that anyone (an Unacademy user or otherwise) can use to report the educator’s conduct or any content violations. The offenders will be liable for penalties

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