The Former Director General and Inspector General of Police Shankar Mahadev Bidari on Friday put up a series of posts on Facebook alleging that a huge medical seat blocking scam is underway in the state. Shankar Bidari alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences had written to the Karnataka government in September last year claiming there was a huge seat blocking scam worth Rs 1,100 crore among private medical colleges in the state.
“Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) has written a letter to the Karnataka government on September 28, 2019 that by way of seat blocking, a scandal of Rs 1,100 crore has taken place in one year and that private medical colleges have collected Rs 1,100 crore. What is the state government and Income Tax Department doing?” he questioned.
According to a report by Deccan Herald, RGUHS said that they had not made any communication to the government during September 2019 and the only recent communication about seat blocking was during admissions for the academic year 2018-19, which occurred before August 2018.
In the seat-blocking scam, candidates who are suspected to make it to the top ranks in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (NEET), block seats in private medical colleges by paying a nominal fee to the Karnataka Evaluation Authority and the students can surrender the blocked seats to the KEA in the final round of seat allocations. These seats are added to the management quota of private colleges, which are in turn sold for huge sums of money, TOI reported.
The TOI report by Sunitha Rao R states that not only private medical colleges but the KEA also made Rs 40 crore in five academic years (2015-2020). This was the money it obtained when students forfeited their blocked seats, who later surrendered them to KEA. KEA collects the college fees from selected candidates and has to transfer it to the private colleges. If candidates back out, KEA withholds the fees that are paid and so far it has made Rs 40 crore, the TOI report added.
Students who surrender blocked seats must also pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 to the Directorate of Medical Education in addition to the first-year college fee that is forfeited by KEA, the report said.
Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences has submitted a report to the Medical Education Department stating that reforms must be brought in to put an end to the scam, the TOI report stated.
However, Minister for Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar on Friday promised to probe the matter over Bidari’s allegation. “If Shankar Bidari provides documents relating to his posts, we will initiate an inquiry. Anyhow Bidari is my friend, and I will discuss the same with him,” DH quoted him as saying.