October 11, 2011

Rs75-90 lakh can turn you into a doctor too

The rot is setting into the medical education system. On the one hand, the lure of money is encouraging miscreants to cheat gullible students and parents; while, on the other, the lure of a lucrative profession is seeing undeserving medical students from rich families becoming doctors as they are able to pay huge amounts to agents (or miscreants) for seats in reputed medical institutions. In both cases, it is the miscreants and their supporters, from within college managements, who run all the way to the banks – unless, they are nabbed. And that’s what Central Crime Branch (CCB) police did on Monday while busting two such gangs involved in cheating students and their parents for huge amounts of money. CCB police have arrested eight persons — including a doctor — in connection with the sale of returned seats for medical students. The arrested were cheating the students to get the returned seats across the state and also in other states. The gang extracted letters of seat rejections from students who passed the Common Entrance Test (CET) and COMED-K exams and got seats in the respective college based on their merit for mediocre students. The police said the letters were received just before the seat distribution on promising the merit students huge amounts of money.The letters were taken to the students struggling to get seats, and promised to have those seats allotted to them by charging as high as Rs75 lakh to `90 lakh per seat. Preliminary investigations revealed that some of the institution administrators and brokers are also involved in this business. Police received a tip-off that such a business is being run by a member of administration board of Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), named A Prasad. A case was registered with Central Police Station. The arrested were taken into police custody after producing in the court. They have been identified as Dr Ibrahim Pasha, 40, a resident of 10th cross, Wilson Garden; Rafath Mallik, 53, a resident of fifth cross, fifth block, HBR layout; Sheik Abdul Farooq alias Farooq, 40, second main, BK Nagar, Yeshwanthpur; Ramachandrasa, 32, a resident of third cross, KR Garden; KZ Vaheem Ahamed alias Faheem, 32, a resident of Gandhinagar, Chickmagalur; Syed Abrahar, 32, a resident of RT Nagar; Istiyaq Ahamed alias Istiyaq Pailwan, 40, a resident of Shivajinagar; and Rajagopala Reddy, 60, a resident of 7th Cross, Koramangala. The police have seized applications filed from the students, marks cards, Comed-K hall tickets, Rs3.72 lakh, Rs7 lakh which they have received through demand drafts, eight mobile phones, and a car. The CCB has said if anyone has been cheated by this gang, they can contact police inspector S Hanumantharaya on 9480801061 or assistant commissioner of police Ajjappa on 9480801029. In another case, the CCB police arrested three persons – Nagaraju, 42, a resident of Yalahanka New Town; Ananda, 45, a resident of KR Puram; and KG Basavaiah, 39, a resident of Malleswaram – for cheating a native of Tamil Nadu, Mahalakshmi, daughter of Channayan, an employee of horticulture department in Tamil Nadu of `18 lakh against a promise of getting her a medical seat in Dr Ambedkar Medical College in Bangalore for the academic year 2011-12. Channayan paid them the advance amount, which included Rs3.25 lakh though demand draft. But the accused later demanded a total payment of Rs42 lakh, saying that the rates for the medical seats had shot up. M Singham, Mahalakshmi's uncle, filed a complaint with Pulakeshinagar police station on September 30. The police have seized a car and Rs16 lakh from the three. Probe revealed that the trio had cheated over a hundred gullible students. The CCB police have said if anyone has been cheated by this gang they can contact Police Inspector SR Tanveer, (9480801425) or assistant commissioner of police SY Hadimuni (9480801030). Blocking rampant Medical seat aspirants take many entrance tests conducted by Medical Council of India (MCI), Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) and Comed-K. For example, some candidates who have got top ranks in both MCI and Comed-K entrance get contacted by agents. Agents convince the candidates to attend counselling and block the seat. For this they pay about Rs10 lakh to 15 lakh. The agents then go to that particular college for which the seat has been blocked and bring some Non-Karnataka candidates and transfer that blocked seat to them for Rs30 lakh to Rs40 lakh for their "services". The college managements, too, get a share. Cost lures profit The business of starting a medical college is taking new dimensions every year. "A deposit of Rs5 crore has to be paid to the joint account of the Medical Council of India for the college management to get a licence. The college should have 10 acres and an over 200-bed hospital to take in 50 students a year. The intake of students can increase along with the increase in the number of beds in the teaching hospital. If the hospital attached to the medical college has more than 350 beds, the student intake can be 80 and 100 students for 600 beds," said one of the board of directors of a newly-established medical college, on conditions of anonymity. He said the cost involved to start a medical college will be around `350 crore. The "side business" of luring mediocre students by charging them high amount only acts a faster mechanism to keep profits rolling in. "This is purely a business. You invest and get your money back with premium. Most institutions one can find are under some educational trust. No individual starts a college as there will be hurdles like income tax," said one of the trustees of a medical college. What Comed-K says A top official of Comed-K told DNA: "I don't know where the system failed in the case of blocking of seats. But there are agencies like universities, the MCI and Directorate of Medical Education and so on that keep tabs on errant colleges." Link: Original Article

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