The establishment of private higher education in India was a commitment towards market economy and an outcome of the shortfall of public resources for funding. The expansion though, took place due to collusion between powerful politicians and the government apparatus in-charge of control of its standards. In the aftermath what can be seen is confusion not only in the ideological commitment of the Indian polity and in the regulatory understanding of Indian judiciary but also in the values of merit among the Indian middle class.
Getting an medical seat has never been easier, with admission brokers now available at the click of a button. As touts advertise admission to medical colleges online, the sale of management seats is no longer a hush-hush affair.
India's top doctors have demanded that the government steps in and acts immediately to check the shocking contempt of law displayed by administrators of private medical and dental colleges. This came after a CNN-IBN sting operation exposed how PG medical college seats are on sale with some being sold for as much as Rs 3 crore, even before the results for the All India Common Entrance Test are declared.
Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Saredesai, top medical experts and doctors called for action in the case. "The core issue is the medical education is not to be converted into a business. My question is why can't the government spend Rs 1000 or Rs 2000 crore, nationalise all private medical colleges and open new government medical colleges, questioned Dr Chandra M Gulati, Editor, Monthly Index of Medical Specialties.
Industry experts also said there has to be a check on such acts of colleges. "There was a Rs 600 crore admission scam wherein the college itself admitted and the same people were arrested, how come for all these years instead of checking the standards of that college, seats have been enhanced? In the same college, isn't there a token of inquiry or punishment that comes for violating rules, not for Rs 1 or 2 crore, but Rs 600 crore? I mean there is no one to ask a question," Dr Usha Mohandas, former Member, Dental Council of India, said.
In clear violation of the Supreme Court of India's orders and audacious contempt of law, five reputed colleges have been caught in the middle of the rot in the country's medical education system. A CNN-IBN sting operation covering three states has exposed how private medical and dental colleges are illegally selling post graduate seats to the highest bidders.
Results for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (Test for Medical Courses across the country) are still not out but post graduate medical seats for the academic year 2013-2014 have already been sold off. A Supreme Court order prohibits medical colleges to reveal results of the independent entrance tests that they conduct.
Santosh Medical College in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh and People's Medical College in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh have been caught on camera asking for obscene amounts of money for seats. Post graduate seats are sold off for crores of rupees while legitimate and qualifying students are paid lakhs for vacating them for "resale". Colleges are also hiring doctors to fudge medical inspections.
"If I leave the seat, I will get Rs 20-25 lakh for leaving the seat of the private medical college so later they can sell the seat to someone else. MCI and government don't have proper system to check that a particular student should not take admission in more than one college at a time," a student said on the condition of anonymity.
The story was the same in Subharti Medical College in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh where the director of the college, RP Singh, demanded Rs 60 lakh rupees along with Rs 8 lakh admission fee from the CNN-IBN reporter for one diploma seat. Directors of People's Medical College admitted on camera that most seats for 2013 have been sold even before the Supreme Court verdict came out. A seat to study radiology was sold upto 2016 for Rs 1 crore.