Sunday, December 23, 2012

TOI busted MBBS/PG seats fixing racket

How to get a merit medical seat without giving an exam




MUMBAI: It started with a Pune-based 'counselling class' repeatedly calling a Mumbai student and promising to secure an MBBS seat for her in MGM College, Kamothe, for a certain fee. The tout had got the number from her examination form. The student called TOI and tipped us off. Two reporters, one posing as a student, the other as her brother, decided to investigate. The calls from Pune were made by a Raj Tapaswi who ran Education Solutions. Initially, he offered career counselling, but after a few calls he revealed his real intent—a seat in the MGM Medical College in Navi Mumbai if we were ready to pay.
On Wednesday, we went to a three-star hotel in Sanpada. Tapaswi, a pot-bellied 30-something who had booked several rooms, was already there talking to another parent. He told us what we would have to do: pay Rs 16.75 lakh to the college and Rs 25,000 to him as a service charge. The payment would be in cash with no receipts. Feigning nervousness, we insisted on meeting college officials before paying up.
Tapaswi said we could only meet them while actually making the payment but promised to try and fix a prior meeting with one of the trustees, Amardeep Nitin Kadam, the son of Kamal Kishore Kadam. We were to pay the money to Amardeep in his office in the hospital attached to the medical college. Instead, Tapaswi introduced us to one Avinash, who claimed to be the college's representative. Avinash explained the seat allotted us would be from the discretionary quota. This quota accounted for nearly 15% of the total seats, or 30 of the 200 seats.

We expressed concern about being found out in the future since we had not appeared for the college CET. Avinash told us not to worry and that all we would have to do is sign a fake answer sheet. We recorded the entire conversation between Tapaswi and Avinash. When we insisted on being taken to Kadam, Avinash introduced us to a young MBBS student who had got in through the same briefcase route two years ago. The HSC marksheet, the student said, was extraneous. Tapaswi and Avinash reiterated that Kadam would meet us only if we came with the money.

Tapaswi added that if we needed a day to arrange the money, he would request Kadam for more time. Also, all we needed was to make a down payment to ensure the name figured on the merit list, the rest could be paid later. Then Tapaswi told us that Avinash had begun to suspect our bona fides and had advised Kadam to back out. The next day, we went back to the college. We had reached an impasse: Kadam refused to meet us and we refused to hand over the money to anyone but a college official. Tapaswi suggested we meet the chief accountant, Mr Gujjar. While looking for him we met the peon outside Kadam's cabin.

The peon said the business of selling seats had been going on for years. He said Gujjar was Kadam's right hand man. We got Gujjar's mobile cell number and called. Gujjar's wife answered and said her husband would help us get admission. Call later, she said. We tried, but the calls went unanswered. Later, Tapaswi called us repeatedly. He said he had brought the amount down to Rs 9 lakh and that we could pay via DD. He made it clear there was no point in coming back without the money.

 Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-06-29/india/27743718_1_avinash-mbbs-seat-mumbai-student

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