August 03, 2020
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Harvard's Murky Doppelganger

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Harvard's Murky Doppelganger
If you thought that globalisation has made the prestige of the American university that much more accessible to the foreign-degree-struck denizens of the third world, think again! The promise of bringing the Ivy League to your doorstep—quite common nowadays—could be no more than a poison ivy.

For instance, if you come across a flyer that says, "If you can’t go to Harvard, we bring Harvard to you", take a deep breath before you decide to take the plunge, if at all. The president and fellows of Harvard College, Massachusetts, have filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against Harvard Business Research and Education Foundation convenor Harbans S. Bawa for misusing the Harvard University logo and collecting funds from alumni in the name of their alma mater. The collected amount, running into several crores, was then used by the foundation to set up its plush office at Nariman Point, Mumbai. The petition notes that Bawa, as part of the foundation’s money mobilisation drive, wrote letters to Harvard Business School alumni like Arun Bharat Ram, Rahul Bajaj and other top honchos of the financial world.

The foundation’s faking of the original was near perfect. And it had to be that way. Considering that it was courting corporate big-timers as part of its fund-raising strategy. Thus, it took special care to frame its syllabus in accordance with the guidelines mentioned in the latest Harvard Business School manual of teaching.

Though the legal notice was served on the organisation by Harvard University on April 13, the court may take its time to respond. Meanwhile, for the foundation it’s business as usual.
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