Home Editor's picks Cambridge distances itself from The Print report after OpIndia fact-check, The Print continues to obfuscate

Cambridge distances itself from The Print report after OpIndia fact-check, The Print continues to obfuscate

It seems evident that either Shekhar Gupta's The Print is using data that came from some other study, or they just made up numbers on their own and attributed the same to Cambridge Assessment International Education.

On November 24, we had reported how The Print led by Shekhar Gupta published a bogus report on the Global Education Census done by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) for the year 2018. Quoting the census, the report claimed that 77% of girl students in India aspire to become journalists or writers while 91.2% want to be psychologists.

But the census report available on the Cambridge website does not have any such data. The report said that Engineering and Medicine still remain top choices among Indian students. The career choices like journalists and psychologists Tare not even mentioned in the report, forget being the top choice for girls in India as the Print report claims.

Reacting to our report, CAIE said that they are aware of the inaccuracies in The Print article, and specifically mentions that “some of the data provided in the article is incorrect and did not come from Cambridge International’s Global Education Census 2018”. They also informed that they asked Shekhar Gupta led The Print to correct the story, and they have added a disclaimer in the article acknowledging the mistake.

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But when ones reads the ‘updated’ article, it can be seen that they have not acknowledged any mistake, and the claim they made regarding career choices of Indian students remain as earlier. They have just added a bar chart representing the career choices, and the chart says that it is based on the Global Education Census in May 2018 done by CAIE. But the fact remains that the report published by CAIE does not contain this data, and CAIE has categorically said that ‘some of the data did not come from their census report’.

It thus seems that either Shekhar Gupta’s The Print is using data that came from some other study, or they just made up numbers on their own and attributed the same to Cambridge Assessment International Education. Although The Print claims that they have ‘updated’ the article, there is no material change in it, apart from a cosmetic change. They made a chart from their dubious data on career choices and inserted in the article.

They also say that a higher percentage of young girls want to be psychologists and journalists than young boys, and this number is not absolute. But that is a statistically wrong claim. They have shown separate figures for boys and girls, so it cannot be a comparative figure as they are claiming. The chart says 91.2% of girls want to be psychologist/psychiatrist while only 8.8% boys want this career. If it showed more girls wanted to be psychologists than boys, there would have been one figure, not two.

Shekhar Gupta led The Print has added an “update” that only further obfuscates the issue without providing a source for their data considering the data appears nowhere in the Global Education Census done by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) for the year 2018. As of now, especially after CAIE distanced itself and acknowledged the glaring error in The Print’s report it does appear as though the publication simply made up statistics.

OpIndia has reached out to CAIE for further clarification on the issue. We have requested CAIE to confirm yet again that this data is not sourced from their report. We will update this article as and when we receive their response.

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