New Delhi: The NEET entrance promoted as a solution to preventing malpractices like capitation fee seems to be failing miserably. The recent India Today expose showed heads running various medical education institutions brazenly coming out as the unprincipled in the admission game, asking for money to help them get medical admissions by passing NEET.
Mulayam Singh Yadav Medical College’s comely CEO, Dr Himani Agarwal in a video clipping gone viral is seen carrying out the daily business of selling a seat slot to the daily’s reporter who visited her as a parent of a poor scorer; all for Rs 15 lakh for his underperforming ward. A brazen act of’ pre-blocking seat’ for low-ranking MBBS aspirants at a cost or in lieu of a fat donation, as is visible in the India Today video clipping that exposes Dr Agarwal in action.
“Here, we are taking Rs 15 lakh from those scoring less than 200 marks (in NEET). The fee structure will be separate,” she is seen telling this India Today reporter posing as a relative of a poor NEET scorer. “This Rs 15 lakh is only for a donation. Okay? The rest is fee and annual charges. In total, it’s Rs 16 lakh for the first year, Rs 11 lakh for the second, third and fourth and Rs 5.5 lakh for the final year,” the CEO went on to explain.
“Listen to me carefully. The admission will be done,” she is seen as promising. “That’s why we are taking the money. (After admissions through counselling) we have seats left for the (final) mop-up round. In all, we have 150 seats. We hope 50-60 will be left for the mop-up round. We’ll close down the (pre-booking) of admissions after 30 seats (are sold),” the CEO is seen claiming.
The admission process otherwise goes as NEET qualifiers applying to designated counselling authorities for recommendation to colleges on merit, both government and private. The counselling leftovers are then supposed to participate in the final mop-up round to secure admissions. These participants are sent to colleges which still have vacant seats. It is at this stage that underhand dealer step into both make money and open institutional doors to low scoring NEET candidates. Before mop up lists are sent to colleges with vacant seats, slots are booked for those shelling out money to buy a medical seat without merit.
When the reporter conducting the expose asked her, if the seat could be booked immediately” she said,” I will book with cash (in hand). We also will have to forward a lump-sum amount. In order to keep the seat vacant (reserved), we will also have to give away (money). Bribes work everywhere brother. Around 98 per cent of the money will not remain with us. Try to understand, we’ll have something (concrete) for us only if we charge in crores.”
She further revealed to these India Today reporters that 12 seats had been successfully booked already. “Five to six more will be done in a day or two,” she added, in an effort to win over the prospective client sitting across the table.
India Today’s next target the Era Lucknow Medical College and Hospital had the sting team come across Waseem Mohsin and Waseem Ahmed, who straight away demanded hard cash as capitation fee, to get their NEET backdoor entry in; naming the capitation sum as -Vitamin C.
“The process remains the same. Your candidate’s name will be picked, Inshallah. We’ll try. It’s possible to get her in during the first round. Else, we’ll go to the mop-up. God forbid, if it doesn’t materialise, your keepsake (cash) would be returned to you,” said Mohsin.
When asked for the sum to be admitted in advance Mohsin replied,”10 Lakhs”.
“This is Vitamin C,” interrupted Ahmed. “This is the cash part, separate from the fees. You can say donation, medicine. You can say Vitamin C but you can’t mention cash,” he explained.
The 3rd target TS Misra Medical College and Hospital in Lucknow’s Amausi area, had the operation team meet Manish Tripathi and Narendra Pandey, who identified themselves as finance officers of the institute.
“That’s what we are sitting here for. We want something, so does the college which has to fill up at least 150 seats,” said Tripathi, recalling the institute charged around Rs 10 lakh on an average from backdoor entrants last year.
“It started with 20 (lakh). Some negotiated it at 15 (lakh), some at 12 (lakh), some at 13 (lakh),” Pandey added.
Interestingly, Dr Sarojini Aggarwal, President of Meerut’s Mulayam Singh Yadav Medical College declined the charge of the institute having indulged in any malpractice in the admission process.
“I don’t know what you have on your CD. I haven’t seen it,” she told India Today, when confronted. “But what I know is that the admission process has been completely transparent in our medical college. This is our first batch. All seats were filled through recommendations of counselling authorities.”
Eras Lucknow Medical College’s Waseem Ahmed was no different and came up with an emphatic denial too.
“I never said that admission is possible without proper NEET score. This is the DG Medical Education and the government which can decide on admission. How can we decide on taking admissions?” he claimed.
Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Kumar Choubey representing the government angle stated that he was committed to stringent action if any of the mentioned colleges were proven guilty.
“If any college is found indulging in malpractices and there is sufficient evidence to prove it, the state governments will take appropriate action. The central government, if apprised of such malpractices, would recommend strong action against such colleges,” he stated.
He threatened institutional de-recognition to all those found indulging in the selling of slots.
“I would like to appeal to all students and their guardians not to get misled by any such colleges. If the state governments recommend action, the central government can very well cancel their recognition. The action could also be initiated against those taking admission by corrupt means. Our government is committed to taking strongest possible action against corrupt colleges,” he stated.
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