Today:- New Delhi, Jan – Even as the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, or Vyapam as it is popularly known, asked the Madhya Pradesh government almost two years ago to conduct an inquiry into the admissions in private dental and medical colleges in 2012 and 2013, this never happened, a reply to an RTI query has revealed.
Had the inquiry been conducted, RTI activist Ajay Dubey says, it could have exposed the nexus between a few Vyapam officials, the Directorate of Medical Education and private colleges.
“The inquiry could have exposed the foul play in the admissions in the private medical and dental colleges, which was doubted by Vyapam. But the inquiry was never conducted,” said Dubey.
The letter Vyapam wrote to the Madhya Pradesh government’s Directorate of Medical Education was obtained by Dubey through an RTI application in November 2015 from the MP professional examination board.
In the letter dated July 8, 2014, Vyapam asked the Directorate of Medical Education to re-examine and verify admissions to the private medical colleges and dental colleges in 2012 and 2013.
“After Special Task Force (STF) inquiry, a total number of 333 PMT (pre-medical test) admissions were cancelled in 2012 and 439 such admissions were cancelled in 2013. Out of these, the results and admissions of 88 and 119 candidates in private medical and dental colleges through state quota in 2012 and 2013 respectively were cancelled,” stated the letter.
It also stated that Vyapam expressed doubts that the private medical and dental colleges, instead of cancelling the admissions, blocked these state government quota seats for re-admissions of the defaulters through other channels. In view of this, Vyapam demanded an inquiry and verification of admissions in 2012 and 2013, the letter added.
Madhya Pradesh has been mired in the Vyapam scam for years, but the irregularities eventually came to light when 20 people were arrested in 2013 for impersonating candidates appearing for the 2009 medical entrance examination.
Forty-eight people associated with the Vyapam scam have died – mostly under mysterious circumstances. Following the chain of deaths, the Supreme Court last July directed the CBI to investigate not just the Vyapam scam but also the deaths related to it.
The most recent death was of Indian Forest Service officer Vijay Bahadur Singh, whose body was found close to a railway track near Odisha’s Belpahad station on October 15, 2015. He was travelling by the Puri-Jodhpur Express. The CBI has started probing this death as well.
Former Madhya Pradesh minister Lakshmikant Sharma, one of the main accused in the Vyapam scam, was released from jail on December 20, 2015, following a court granting bail. Another Vyapam scam accused, former officer on special duty Dhanraj Yadav, was released from jail on December 19, 2015, after he too got bail from a court.
(Sidhartha Dutta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)