MBBS Admissions: TOUT Menace haunts KEA mop-up counselling
Bengaluru: Touts who posed as parents of students in an attempt to block seats at the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) mop up counseling round, on Thursday, when identified were thrown out of the premises by the police. They were discovered by the authorities who observed that there were middlemen posing as parents.
Commenting on their presence at counseling sessions, the KEA Executive Director, Vinoth Priya told the media, “We were told about the involvement of middlemen who were using students who have got seats under all-India quota to block seats here. We took the help of the police and send them out.”
Touts have been a malaise for quite a while now. In the past it has been observed that they have hounded NEET pass outs raining messages of seat assurances at private medical colleges for anything between Rs. 10 lakh to 1.25 crore with an allurement of being able to jump NEET counseling as well.
Counseling participation for NEET by students happens to be a mandatory exercise to be undertaken by all exam qualifiers seeking admission in medical and dental programs. Anyone having succumbed to tout allurements and caught would run the risk of losing admission, as per the MCI norms.A warning often heard reverberating in the counselling venue corridors, where there are fears of touts lurking.
The present ongoing counseling by the KEA has 958 medical seats up for grabs. The allotment is to continue even on Friday.
When the attending participants at the KEA counseling venue got the smell of touts being present at the counseling venue, those unaccompanied by them raised a vociferous cry of protest against their presence. They alleged that some of the participants at the counseling were involved in the blocking of seats.
The protests had the KEA Executive Director and the administrative officer appear and begin verification personally in the presence of the police.
The major set back leading to tout presence could be the KEA not having details of medical seat allocations already done by other state counseling agencies.
“There is no centralized database where we can get details of students who got seats in other states. However, we have the list of candidates who got seats under all-India quota and barred them from attending the mop-up round,” said a KEA official.
Students said the authorities should seriously look into the menace of seat blocking. A student from West Bengal stated that bright meritorious scorers were present for the counseling at this venue.
“When candidates with ranks up to 5,000 are eligible for government seats, why would they opt for private seats,” said a student.
Authorities all over the country have often spoken about it not being difficult for them to catch miscreants getting their admissions through paying money to colleges or touts and have often issued words of caution to the indulgent about how admissions could be cancelled when discovered.
Students at the KEA mop up counselling venue alleged that seat blocking by touts in connivance with students was happening every year and was being done in connivance with College Managements.
“The touts who were here today are nothing but agents of private medical colleges. Counselling agencies of the concerned states should collect original documents of the candidates once they confirm the seat to avoid blocking of seats in another state,” said a student from Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Vinoth Priya of KEA said they had taken stringent measures against seat blocking this year. “Only one guardian along with the candidate is given entry pass for counselling,” she told the TNIE.
She spoke about photos of the candidates and their guardians being uploaded before them being called in for counselling. She said despite measures taken a few had accompanied students but moved out of sight after the police were called in.
A disgruntled parent speaking about seat bocking to the Bangalore Mirror said that these seats getting blocked was a problem.
"Later, these seats are shown as ‘unfilled’ in the mop-up round. The KEA submits the unfilled seats to the colleges and then the middlemen patch up with the colleges and sell these seats.”
Parents were seen opposing those who appeared at the venue after having taken an All India Quota seat. Later, Executive Director Vinoth Priya and administrative officer (AO) Gangadaraiah sat during the counseling process.
The KEA also reacted to bills put up on the walls of the counseling venue, misleading students that they could mutually exchange seats. The officials clarified that the option did not exist and miscreants were merely misleading students. They said a complaint would be filed against those discovered indulging in this wrongdoing.