Seat blocking in NEET

BENGALURU: What the income-tax raids on educational institutions run by Congress leaders have unearthed is merely the tip of the iceberg, said I-T department officials. They suspect a major scam wherein medical college managements block seats under National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and later sell them at exorbitant rates.

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I-T official sources said that a preliminary investigation showed that several more private medical colleges could also be employing unscrupulous ways to hoodwink the system to make a fast buck.

A senior I-T official monitoring the raids said they found 168 out of 300 medical seats allotted under management quota by the three private medical colleges (which are deemed universities) were blocked and later sold to students, who secured low ranks. These seats were allegedly sold at a minimum Rs 50 lakh per seat while the actual fee is only about Rs 6 lakh.

The college managements apparently roped in bright candidates who could crack NEET easily and get high ranks by paying handsome sums of money. After they passed the test, these candidates opted for seats in a particular college and later gave them up, allowing the college managements to declare them as unoccupied and sell them at an inflated price. It was also found that some second- and third-year MBBS students were among candidates asked to write NEET.

The I-T officials claimed they stumbled upon the scam when they noticed a social media ad campaign asking students aspiring for medical seats to book them in advance through auction. “We wondered how medical seats could be auctioned. We then cracked this seat-blocking scam,” they added.

They also found that 68 candidates, all from Rajasthan, had given up seats after getting high ranks. These seats had been sold to students who had secured very low ranks.

Investigators found such seats were re-allotted to 54 students in Devaraj Urs Meducal College (of RL Jalappa) and 114 seats in Sri Siddhartha Medical College and Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (both owned by G Parameshwara).

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