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NEET medical admissions: Are states defying rules to sell seats on the sly?

Students claim harassment by counselling authorities, claim seats are being given to those willing to pay handsome amounts

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

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Ahead of the last leg of admissions at medical institutions, some government-designated state counselling authorities have allegedly defied norms for enrolments based on Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), according to a media report.

State such as Bihar, Karnataka, Punjab and Puducherry have allegedly misused and deliberately misinterpreted the guidelines set by the Supreme Court, and the health ministry, reported Hindustan Times

ALSO READ: The NEET problem

With the objective of weeding out corruption in admissions to medical courses, NEET was introduced in 2016 to enable merit-based entry for more than 60,000 in 474 private and government colleges in India.

Bihar asks for demand drafts after bank closing time

Where generally counselling commences early morning and lasts until the evening, Bihar not only opened the final round at 5 pm on August 31, but also asked candidates to present demand drafts of more than Rs 10 lakh drawn in favour of colleges.

Even though parents requested for more time as most banks are shut for customers at 5 pm, the counselling authorities rejected their appeal. The same seats were allotted to people who had come through commission agents and ironically had their drafts ready.

Similar irregularities were noted in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry and Punjab.

Karnataka makes irrational demands

A student from Uttar Pradesh was asked by Karnataka officials at 11 pm on September 4 to appear for counselling the very next day at 11 am in Bengaluru. To the student’s dismay, his application was turned down as he did not have a demand draft handy. Moreover, officials refused to take the money through digital mode of payment.

Are seats being sold-off?

Several candidates have alleged that counselling authorities are intentionally harassing students in order to give seats to either low-ranked students or to those who are willing to pay a handsome amount for them. Thus, the concept of admissions based solely on students ranking serves no purpose in such cases. 

Authorities refute allegations

Bihar's medical education director Prabhat Kumar dismissed the allegations, saying they started counselling at 3 pm and allowed online transfer of money through NEFT, the English daily reported. However, he admitted that the mode of payment was not mentioned in the advertisement.

Responding to charges that students with low ranks were chosen over high-rank students, a Madhya Pradesh official clarified that it was done to give preference to candidates from the home state. 

First Published: Wed, September 13 2017. 17:13 IST