Earlier in March, there was a plagiarism fiasco surrounding Singapore’s national song ‘Count on Me, Singapore’ after a composer from India was accused of copying the song. The Indian composer later retracted all claims to the lyrics and tune of the song.
What’s more, the local national song was even found to be copied and modified into a religious version by an Indian non-profit spiritual organisation.
Now, there seems to be another case of plagiarism concerning a Singaporean educational institution, this time coming from an international school in India.
To put it simply, the logo of Gaikwad-Patil International School in Nagpur, India is exactly the same as Singapore Sports School in Woodlands.
Every detail in colour, every curve, every pixel on your screen; both logos look one hundred per cent the same. No matter the angle you look at, they are indistinguishable to the hilt – so much so even a blind person wouldn’t argue otherwise.
Singapore Sports School’s logo is a registered trade mark
Singapore Sports School officially opened on 2 April 2004 by former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
It is the only school in Singapore that offers selected youths an integrated academic and sports programme in a world-class environment.
Singapore Sports School’s logo features a pair of red and orange wings.
According to the school’s website, the pair of wings is a “universal symbol of flight and is used to embody the soaring aspirations” of its student-athletes.
“The symmetry of the wings denotes the striking balance between academic finesse and sporting excellence.
“Outlined amidst the pair of wings is a trophy. The trophy symbolises our School’s commitment towards providing our student-athletes with the environment and ample opportunities to help them fulfil their sporting potential and let their dreams take flight,” it added.
Singapore Sports School also stated that its logo is a “registered trade mark”. The same applies to the school’s tagline, ‘Learned Champions With Character‘.
It is noteworthy that Gaikwad-Patil International School only came into being sometime between end of 2016 and early 2017.
Singapore Sports School was told that Gaikwad-Patil International School has been closed; no reason was given
Following this, TOC reached out to both the institutions via email to enquire about the matter.
We received no reply from Gaikwad-Patil International School. We did, however, received word from Singapore Sports School.
A spokesperson from the school told TOC that they “were alerted recently to this matter”. After reaching out to Gaikwad-Patil International School, they were informed that the “school has since closed”.
Responding to a follow-up question, the spokesperson said that “no reason was given” by Gaikwad-Patil International School on its closure.
“We reached out to them last week after we were alerted by our staff. No reason was given by the said school. It was merely a message from the Principal to say that the school is shut now. We interpreted it as closed, although we have not heard from them any further.”
Principal of Gaikwad-Patil International School refuses to share details of the school’s closure
Subsequently, TOC reached out to the former Principal & Director of Gaikwad-Patil International School, Shabih Chaurasia, on LinkedIn to confirm on the school’s closure as well as the reasoning behind it.
After a series of exchanges, we practically received no proper confirmation on the subject. Ms Shabih refused to divulge any piece of information as she did not see any reason to do so.
She also claimed to “have shared the details with the principal of Singapore Sports School”, yet the response we’ve gotten from Singapore Sports School proved otherwise.
Is Gaikwad-Patil International School really closed?
After reaching a dead end with the former Principal & Director of the school, TOC managed to get ahold of Gaikwad-Patil International School via WhatsApp after acquiring the contact number listed on the school’s website.
At the time of writing, the website and social media platforms of the school are no longer accessible.
Interestingly, when asked if the school is still operating, the response given was “yes”.
Another interesting point is the name of the WhatsApp account registered under the contact number – ‘DPIS’.
As it turns out, DPIS stands for ‘Delhi Public International School’.
This begs the question: why is Delhi Public International School saying that Gaikwad-Patil International School is open?
Not forgetting, who is DPIS to begin with and why is it involved in the picture?
Mysterious connection between Delhi Public International School and Gaikwad-Patil International School
Now, let’s have a look at Delhi Public International School (DPIS) and its mysterious connection with Gaikwad-Patil International School.
First off, it says on DPIS’ website that the school is located “near Jamtha International Stadium, Dongargaon, Wardha Road, Nagpur”.
Meanwhile, a poster from Gaikwad-Patil International School last year shows the same address as DPIS.
The poster also shows the same contact number as DPIS, whom TOC contacted earlier.
Oddly enough, it appears both schools also share the same premise, judging by these two pictures uploaded on DPIS’ Facebook page.
Besides that, heading over to the ‘About Us‘ section on DPIS’ website, it literally says:
“Gaikwad-Patil International School offers well defined CBSE syllabus with day boarding facility and intend to start a full fledge IB school with stay for the Secondary and Higher Secondary students. The teaching methodology provides student-centred education with a focus on individual growth.”
Seeing is believing, as the saying goes; so here’s a screenshot of the website.
Moving on, remember Ms Shabih from LinkedIn? She was the former Principal & Director of Gaikwad-Patil International School.
Well, turns out she has reprised her role as Principal & Director at DPIS immediately after Gaikwad-Patil International School had seemingly closed down.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms Shabih’s four-and-a-half-year tenure at Gaikwad-Patil International School ended earlier in May.
Now, perhaps this last finding might prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the whole mystery between the two international schools.
According to the ‘Page Transparency’ section on DPIS’ Facebook page, it appears that the page had recently changed its name to ‘Delhi Public International School’. The change was made earlier on 26 May.
The page was created on 2 January 2017 with the name ‘Gaikwad-Patil International School’.
Well, this explains why DPIS’s Facebook page has been sharing numerous posts featuring Gaikwad-Patil International School up until recently.
At the end of the day, the million-dollar question is how and why did Gaikwad-Patil International School end up blatantly passing off Singapore Sports School’s registered trade mark logo as its own all this while.
What exactly happened to Gaikwad-Patil International School remains in limbo per se, but at least we have assurance that the majestic pair of red and orange wings symbol is exclusively for Singapore.