New Delhi: The corruption malaise seems to be unfolding all over again with some of the Medical Council of India(MCI) debarred medical institutions opening their admission counters to aspirants. A sting operation conducted by the Special Investigation Team of newspaper ‘India Today’ revealed three medical colleges has on camera college officials offering admissions .
The Krishna Mohan Medical College debarred from taking admissions for the next two years for not having met the eligibility criteria gave the team a surprise, when its official in charge for admission, one Ajay Tomar was still yet seen selling seats. Not knowing about the presence of the camera, he said “”You need to pay Rs 5 lakh to book a seat, if you delay, the next week rates will be different.”
Tomar boldly stated that counselling, which otherwise, is meant to be conducted at the All India and State level, with colleges being allotted to students online, as per Supreme Court orders, would take place on the Krishna Mohan premises .
Meanwhile, at another medical college, one Junaid, the admission official at the Glocal Medical College Super Specialty Hospital and Research Centre, Saharanpur told the’ India Today’ undercover reporters, that the total MBBS package, which included hostel and tuition fee was priced at 80 lakh; a sum way beyond the Fee Fixation Committee’s figures. Not stopping at that, Junaid also in a brazen manner claimed that he could fix NEET counselling for aspirants , as well.
“We will get your counseling done. You will get a phone call. Come to Lucknow, we will get seat allotted,” he said.
Shifty on the issue of MCI and Ministry clearances, the crafty official added, “We have all the government permissions, but there is one issue in court which will be settled.” Junaid also offered to accept payments in cash up to Rs 20 lakh.
To the surprise of the team, when the Principal and Director of Glocal were confronted by the India Today team, they flatly refused admittance to the claims of the admission official.
“This year we are waiting for the court decision. We have not started taking admission or distributing admission forms,” said Dr Ranjana Vij, Principal, Glocal Medical College.
The Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Gajraula, the third college covered by the sting operation, also assured candidates that it would help them in overcoming the counselling impediment. “We are registering students. We ensure that student will get that particular option. There will be a final call. There my man will deal directly come with you,” said Shakeel, the Officer In charge Admission, at the college.
The three institutes covered by the India Today Sting team are part of the 32 debarred by the MCI, for not meeting essential Council norms, to run as medical institutions in the country.
According to the Council’s inspection team, Krishna Mohan Medical College was found 86% deficient of faculty , 89 per cent short of residents and with a zero % bed occupancy. It is believed to have failed on other parameters, as well.
“Any admissions by these debarred colleges will be illegal. We have put a list of the debarred colleges on our website. Anybody who flouts the ban faces legal action,” warned Dr. Reena Nayyar, Additional Secretary, MCI responding to the team’s query.
The Central Government has after the expose’ decided to intervene. Union Health Minister, J P Nadda responding to the expose’ said, “We faced a lot of opposition, when we debarred these colleges. The government is determined to clean up medical education. We will take strict action against the colleges that are violating rules.”
“An independent inquiry will be carried out and if the colleges are found guilty. Action will be taken against illegal practices,’ said Health Minister, JP Nadda.
The State Health Minister, Siddharth Nath Singh, seconding his counterpart at the Centre also assured that stringent action would be taken, if colleges were found on the wrong foot.
The colleges placed under debarment by the MCI, challenged the ban in the Supreme Court. The court in its order, on Tuesday, has asked the central govt to give the colleges a hearing another time. But till the ban is lifted, the admissions made if any by these colleges will be considered illegal.