M A I N   N E W S

Seats for sale in PGI
n Agents claim to rig MBBS and MD entrance tests
n Seat costs Rs 80 lakh upwards
n PGI not alone, racket may be all over India
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Painstaking investigation by The Tribune has revealed shocking details of some self-claimed touts who ensure medical seats to aspirants for a hefty price.

These agents claim to have rigged some of the toughest MD and MBBS entrance tests conducted by the Centre and several state governments and flaunt the fact that they got admissions for their rich “clients” using impersonators to appear in the entrance tests in place of the actual candidates.

While impersonation was one modus operandi, these agents, operating out of Mumbai and New Delhi in the garb of running coaching centres, offer to get “direct” admission to several private medical colleges in the country with the commission shared between the touts and the colleges.

Investigations into the claims made by these agents revealed that they might not be exaggerating. Following up on some “success stories” flaunted by these agents, The Tribune discovered two junior residents pursuing their MD in the prestigious Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here. The duo was allegedly admitted to the PGI after the agents got someone to impersonate them in the MD entrance test. While one doctor joined the PGI after “clearing” the test held in December 2008, the other joined the institute through an entrance test held recently.

Posing as parents interested in the admission of their ward to the MD course, The Tribune team talked to these agents and the conversation was secretly recorded. The agents “offered” the MD seat of any clinical branch. The cost of the seat, depending on the choice of the branch, ranged from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore. When The Tribune team asked how it would be made possible, the agent said: “You don’t have to worry about it. We will manage everything. The candidate doesn’t need to appear in the entrance test. Someone else appears for him.” The agents also gave the names of the two doctors who had got the seat “using their services”

“You can contact them. Take my name and ask them about us. You will come to know that we are genuine and deliver,” boasted the agents.

Enquiries in the PGI revealed that the doctors, whose names the agent had given, were actually pursuing their MD in two different departments.

Posing as parents again, the team met these two doctors. Initially, one of them refused to divulge anything. However, when he was told about the agent, he opened up and confirmed that the agent arranges persons who can impersonate for candidates. He even mentioned the name of the other doctor who had come to the PGI via the same agent.

The other doctor was busy in the emergency ward when The Tribune team met him. Startled, he started giving explanations why he chose to come through an agent. He said he had appeared in the test earlier too but could not clear it. So, he decided to get the services of these agents, who, he said were effective.

When contacted, PGI director Dr KK Talwar said he was in Delhi in a meeting. The official spokesperson of the PGI Manju Wadwalkar said the allegations would be looked into at the highest level.

Going by the claims of these agent and their “success stories”, there are reasons to believe that the impersonation racket has been running for some years now and it does not appear to be limited only to the PGI.

(To be continued)




“It will cost you Rs 1.25 crore for a PG seat in radiology,”says agent
Transcripts of the conversation with a Mumbai fixer

Posing as relatives of parents interested in ensuring admission of their ward to the MD course, The Tribune team talked to Mumbai-based “agents” over phone. The agents promised to get our candidate an MD seat in the PGI in exchange of a hefty sum. Here are the excerpts of the conversation:

Tribune Team: ******ji? ****** ji speaking?

Is it ******ji?

Agent: Yes I am speaking.

TT: ******ji, as suggested by you we have met those two persons in the PGI. Dr****** told us that we could rely on you for admission. He told us that most of the money has to be given only after the work was done. But the other doctor****** seemed to be a little hesitant in talking to us.

Agent: They are a little scared of talking about this. Had you told me about your visit, I would have talked to them. But now you are sure that we deliver what we claim?

TT: Yes, yes, we are very satisfied. Dr****** told us we can trust you completely. I told all this to my relative Mrs Sharma (imagined name) whose son wants admission in the PGI. He has finished his internship and had appeared for the PGI entrance test in December but could not clear it. They are interested.

Agent: The next exam is in November-December. We will do the work then.

TT: How do we go about it? What is the procedure?

Agent: What branch he wants?

TT: Any branch will do. The child has appeared in the test two-three times. Now he is desperate. It’s an NRI family and money is not a problem.

Agent: Any clinical branch will do? Like radiology, orthopaedics, ENT?

TT: Any branch will do.

Agent: The work would be done. We take the 100 per cent guarantee. If you want a good branch like pediatrics we will charge around Rs 80 lakh. In case of radiology, the rate would be Rs 1.25 crore.

TT: The doctors were also telling us that there is no need for the child to study as someone else would appear in the test. The child finished his MBBS three years ago and has not touched a book since then.

Agent: You need not worry. We will get the work done.

TT: Will the exam take place in the PGI or at some other place?

Agent: You don’t take any tension. You leave all that to us. Your work will be done.

TT: I hope there is nothing to fear? Does the exam take place in the PGI?

Agent: The exam takes place in Chandigarh. There is nothing to worry. You relax. We manage everything.

TT: How much money has to be given initially? 

Agent: Initially, you will have to pay at least Rs 10- to 15 lakh.

TT: How do we make that payment? Do we meet someone here?

Agent: No you will have to come to us and give the payment to us.

TT: Ok. I will pass on this information to Mrs Sharma. I will also give her your number. She will get in touch with you.

Agent: Yes, Yes she can talk to us anytime. She should give your reference. Do not take any tension. Consider the work as done.

TT: We believe you. One more thing…does the initial amount remains same for the radiology branch?

Agent: No, for radiology, the initial amount is more. It will be Rs 20 lakh.

TT: Ok, I will convey this to Mrs Sharma. Dr****** was also telling us that you can also manage admissions in ****** (a prestigious government medical institute in New Delhi)?

Agent: We can get admission done everywhere.

TT: What is the rate for admission at ****** (a prestigious government medical institute in New Delhi)?

Agent: The rates are the same everywhere. Wherever you want, we can get the admission. The first exam that is approaching is in November -December of the PGI and****** (a prestigious government medical institute in New Delhi)? We will try these. If you still want admission through the “All India..., the exam is in January. Where has the child done his MBBS from?

TT: ****** Medical College Ludhiana. There also we had got him admitted on a paid seat.

Agent: The first two options are the PGI and the****** (a prestigious government medical institute in New Delhi). The forms are also out. Your work will be done. We have already given the proof of our efficiency. Wherever you go, you will find our children (students admitted through the agent). Our children are also in****** college, Mumbai.

TT: Which college in Mumbai?

Agent: In Mumbai, the admissions are done through the All India entrance test. We have recently got the admission of one Dr ****** from Chandigarh to this college in Mumbai in paediatrics.

TT: The doctors whom we met said there was no need to pay the entire amount in advance.

Agent: That is how we operate. We don’t take the entire amount beforehand. We only take a token advance. And the day your child gets the admission, you have to pay the rest of the amount.

TT: Can we pay the rest of the amount in cash?

Agent: Yes. You can pay in cash also. In case of cash, I will tell you whom to get in touch with?

TT: Will we have to go to Delhi to make the cash payment?

Agent: When you have to make the payment tell me. You can pay in Chandigarh or even in Ludhiana.

TT: OK.In any case, the payment has to be done by Mrs Sharma. Since they are NRIs, perhaps, they will like to pay by cheque.

Agent: Cash or cheque, we don’t have any problems. It is totally a transparent deal. Only it should not be leaked out too much.

TT: Do we have to pay anything to anyone in the PGI?

Agent: No payment has to be given to the PGI. All the payment has to be made directly to me after the work is done.

(To be continued)





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