HANAMKONDA: In an attempt to stem the rot of blatant sale of PG medical seats in management quota at an exorbitant price by private medical colleges through dubious methods, the Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNUHS) has decided to enhance the exit fee of students who vacate their seats after the final round of counselling from the present Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, which may subsequently be increased to Rs 50 lakh.
University authorities, who smelt a rat when students from other states with high NEET scores applying for PG seats in Telangana, referred the issue to the Medical Council of India (MCI) for action against the medical colleges and also to the police to identify the culprits. “The MCI can issue a notice to the erring medical college and even cancel their licences. Their response is awaited,” the university authorities said.
University authorities have found that 25 private medical colleges were into this illegal money-spinning activity with the help of an agent-student nexus. When Express asked KNRUHS Registrar D Praveen Kumar about action being taken against the agents or private medical colleges or students, he said: “We do not have the authority to take action. After the police inquiry, the report would be submitted to the government, which will take appropriate action.”
“We grew suspicious when about 35 top rankers from other States applied for PG seats in Telangana. We have spoken to 20 of them,” he said. “With the permission of the Health Minister T Harish Rao , we started an enquiry and called the top rankers. Five of them replied through e-mails, stating that they have bagged seats in their original States (Bihar & Maharashtra). They also stated that they had not submitted any original certificates in Telangana,” he added.
The e-mail conversations with the top rankers was forwarded to the Health Minister and as per his guideline, the Commissioner of Police lodged a complaint against some of the top rankers.Even as investigation is on, it is only after completion of the PG counselling on May 3 that officials will have final confirmation that the top rankers were used to block seats in Telangana. “If they don’t want a seat in Telangana , as per the government norms they have to pay Rs 5 lakh. But now the exit amount is Rs 20 lakh per student. If the 35 students exit after the last counselling, they will be punished and agents or private medical colleges will also come under scanner,” added Kumar.
Meanwhile, the government is understood to be contemplating doing away with the management quota of seats as it is giving ample room for unscrupulous agents in helping colleges continue the illegal practice. There are over 50 PG medical seats in private medical colleges. Generally, these seats free up after the last round and the university can announce that these seats were now under management quota. Sources say that the management quota seat in the PG category is traded at anything between Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore in the State.
The Health Reforms Doctors’ Association (HRDA) however says that the only alternative is holding the fake students’ original certificates for up to three months after the last round of counselling. That way they will not be able to leave and join their original seats in native states,” said Dr Mahesh Kumar, HRDA.While merit students are by default entitled to seats in their own State, agents and private medical college managements continue to block the seats without their consent.