Vyapam scam

The scandal and deaths are pretty real, not just a statistical play of numbers.

As per Medical admission in India  4.7% of the candidates appearing from MBBS entrance exams in India got a seat in 2013. Removing the not so good colleges and branches, one can say that it is fairly hard to get a good Medical seat in India. I also know many people who have not taken one but even 2-3 years of drop to keep trying qualifying in these exams to fulfill their dream of becoming a Doctor (thanks to the peer and parental pressure). In fact, in India, all coveted professional streams have scary acceptance rates such as 0.5% for IIMs and <2% for IITs. It just shows how much preparation and mental toughness a student needs to pursue his dream career.

The entrance exams in MP are conducted by Vyapam which is an autonomous body. The scam spread to many professional exams but Medical is the biggest one since Medical seats are paid for at the highest prices, so lets just focus on that. While I am focusing on mugging all those Biology terms, some parents found another way to ensure their children get a Medical seat. A group of insiders to Vyapam began to collude in a sophisticated way to help their ‘clients’ get good marks in these exams. How? The method varied from using impersonators, swapping answer sheets to seating a group of people together to enable cheating etc. Such a thing requires an organized effort at multiple levels in the system – the people who set the paper, invigilator, exam organizer, people involved in scoring etc etc.

What is DMAT scam?
Akin to Vyapam scam, it came to light that the real money exchanged hands under the DMAT scam. Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) is an examination held for admission into the private medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh, India. Here, the seats to private colleges were sold by fixing these tests. The candidates who paid the amount were directed to leave the OMR sheet blank and were filled later (Dental and Medical Admission Test: Scamsters operated in cyber cafes, colleges – The Times of India).

Who benefitted from it?
The rich families whose kids could not have otherwise cracked the exam and Medical college owners who could sell their seats and who actually acted as the middlemen between these parents and insider officials who conducted the exams. It has been alleged that MBBS seats were sold for 50L and PG seats for about 1cr.

Why is it so worrisome?
It could have been just another scandal but lets examine the repercussion and something the normal middle class parents are not yet understanding. When such seats are rigged in a professional exam, it is their kid who was preparing hard but could not make the cut who is the eventual victim. Some even committed suicide and some had to settle for other non-rewarding careers.
Secondly, when a person who has paid 1cr for his education enters the profession, his first goal is to recuperate his investment. After all, why would one be willing to pay such hefty sums for a career if he did not think he could get it all back? This leads to further scams in Medical industry.
The society suffers when people who may not be qualified or motivated are allowed to enter a profession that deals with human lives. And what moral value am I passing on to next generation by telling it that go and do whatever, I can buy a career for you.
What is the political involvement behind this scam?
The scam goes way back but things only started unearthing around 2009. The scale of the operation suggested the involvement of influential and powerful people from Medical fraternity, political parties, police and judicial teams. A lot of children of these people are studying/have studied MBBS from some of the controversial colleges known to have been involved in DMAT scam. This is the reason that the powerful layer of the society did not want this scam to be unearthed.
It remains a question why did ruling BJP govt in MP decide to form a STF (special task force) locally instead of handing the matter over to CBI. It is also interesting that as soon as CBI came on board, it registered 5 FIRs regarding the deaths that were claimed to be natural earlier.
State govt tried to keep things under local control as long as they could, only giving it to outside scrutiny when things have caught national and international interest. At this point, it seems everyone is trying to save his own a**. I am sure the non-ruling party members are not clean either and it is a deep level collusion but those who are in power seem to have abused it a lot.

I hope the truth comes out soon and the involved are justly punished. Because if they are not, these powerful people will continue to exploit the system and the hard working student who missed out on a seat by 1 mark will keep having his dream squashed and a patient will be billed 25L for a trivial problem by a Doctor who graduated by paying 1cr in donation. This scam is a cancer to our society, do not take it lightly.



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