The viral news of 16-year-old Chandigarh boy landing in high paying job at Google turned out be fake. Harshit Sharma, who completed his 12th standard with IT stream last year from the government school, basked the limelight after claiming to have been hired by tech giant for graphic designing.
A fake offer letter from Google Harshit Sharma forwarded to his school principal Indra Beniwal had led her to believe that he had landed in a job at the Google, Alphabet inc. The principle had no reservations in trusting the boy as the letter had been forwarded over Whatsapp. In addition the pupils exceptional academic record at the school led her to trust that he may have indeed landed at the job.
“He was always a remarkable student, excelled in practicals and offered help to his batch mates,” said Indra Beniwal in her rationale
A Google spokesperson said ” Currently, we don’t have any information on our records with respect to Harshit Sharma’s candidacy.”
Even to the untrained eyes the letter seems far from professional offer letter by a tech giant. The amateur language of the letter should have clearly alerted the principal Beniwal and other school authorities of it’s duplicity. The letter contained many spelling errors and, also written with comic sans font which is most unlikely for corporate letterhead.
Ironically the source of additional information such as the Rs 1.2 million salary package and other specific details in the school report remained a mystery, as the original letter had no such details.
The phone number mentioned in the letter +1660253000 is from Greenwood, Missisipi, US. The number too turned out be an fake and remained unreachable.
School principal Beniwal said, “I spoke to Harshit’s parents and he is under severe emotional strain. The doctors have advised that boy be kept away from any conversation on this topic. Beniwal said she had filed a report on the incident to the education department and the parents have acknowledged Harshit’s mistake.”
The education department said they already began an investigation on how the government school got dragged into the controversy. On July 29, the Chandigarh Administration had issued an official release announcing Harshit’s achievement.
Harshit Sharma, a Class 12 student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-B (GMSSS – 33D), Chandigarh went from a celebrity to broke in a short span after viral media coverage that Sharma has been hired by Google for “graphic designing” and would bag a monthly salary of Rs. 1.2 million, at the end of his year long training. Statements by his school and Chandigarh Administration had authenticated Sharma’s story to go viral in India with several leading English and Hindi dailies running the story.
While the focus now shifts to how this fake letter could have deceived so many individuals, one has to ponder hard at the point that leading news outlets had also failed to verify the fact with Google prior to publishing.