Complaints of irregularities and crooked deals in PMT were surfacing since 2009 but due to political patronage of the ruling party, no action was taken. After the PMT 2013 scam was exposed, the government of Madhya Pradesh and Vyapam should have withheld the result and the Medical Education department should not have held counselling for admissions. But probably, a deal was struck with the ruling party under which the results were announced and counselling conducted, thus extending patronage to the scam and its authors. It was due to the patronage of the ruling party that there was delay in taking action against the officers responsible and no enquiry was launched against the leaders of the ruling party. Therefore, only a CBI probe will expose the role of the ruling party politicians in patronising the scam.
More than 42,000 candidates had appeared in PMT 2013 conducted by MP Professional Examination Board (Vyapam)
Vyapam admitted in the High Court that 1020 forms were missing and 346 imposters had appeared in the exam. Vyapam officials admitted in the court that 1120 candidates appeared in the exam but their forms were missing because Vyapam official and accused Nitin Mahindra had tampered with the Computers in which the record was stored.
The STF has presented charge-sheet against 28 accused, including Jagdish Sagar, in Indore Court. The fact that the charge-sheet includes details of 3292 different offences and more than 92,176 documents is indicative of the enormity of the scam.
Modus operandi of scamsters
How did the Vyapam officials, in cahoots with middlemen, ran the scandal? What was their modus operandi? These are big questions. The roles of Vyapam officers and middlemen were as under:
CK Mishra, officer, Vyapam
CK Mishra has admitted that he was working for Dr. Sagar, Santosh Gupta and Sanvij Shilpakar since 2009. In 2009, Dr. Sagar had given him application forms of 20 candidates, who were to be allotted roll numbers in such a way that in the exam, their seats were one behind the other. Rs 50,000 per roll number was paid to him. Thus, he received Rs 10 lakh. In 2010, Dr Sagar gave forms of 40 students. This time Rs 20 lakh was paid. “The record of the two years has been removed from the hard disk and we have kept it with us. In 2012, Dr Sagar took contract of 60 students, Shilpkar gave roll numbers of 20 boys. They paid Rs 30 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively”.
Nitin Mahindra (Principal System Analyst) and Ajay Sen (Senior System Analyst)
Vyapam programmer Yashwant Parnekar and clerk Yuvraj Hingve said in their statements that the computers of Mahindra and Sen were not linked with the main server of Vyapam. These two officers could access the data stored in 25 other computers at Vyapam but the data in their computers could not be accessed by anyone. Taking advantage of this, they allotted roll numbers and examnination centres as per their wish.
(Government tried to protect them from EOW action in the case of irregularities in purchase of computers. EOW had sought permission to launch probe against them in 2009)
Dr Jagdish Sagar (Middleman)
Dr Sagar used to handover handwritten notes to Vyapam officials, telling them which roll number to allot to which student. For 2013, Dr Sagar had given 317, Shilpakar 92 and Sanjay Gupta 48 names. Mahindra had recorded the details of these candidates in his computer and destroyed the list. While allotting roll numbers to these candidates, the slots immediately before or after them were left blank. These roll numbers were then allotted to fake candidate. The roll numbers were set at their homes and brought to office in Pen drive. After reaching the office, they uploaded the roll numbers to the computers. After that Mahindra, used to telephone Dr Sagar and tell him, “The work has been done. You can check on the website”.
Vyapam Joint Controller Dr. Santosh Gandhi exposed Mahindra Sen
Vyapam Joint Controller Dr. Santosh Kumar Gandhi said in his statement that the Computer section was to allot examination centres and roll numbers on random basis. On June 27, 2013, Examination in-charge Dr. Alok Nigam handed over the file of roll number allotment, which also contained the list of examination centres, to Mahindra, Sen and Mishra. On June 30 Mahindra wrote that Roll numbers have been generated. He did not mention on the note-sheet that the roll numbers were allotted when, by whom, in whose presence and by what procedure. They generated roll numbers as per their wish, for which there was no provision in Vyapam.
Indore police informs Vyapam officials of PMT scam
Shri Singh Kushwaha, SP (West), district Indore through letter number SP/ West/ PA/ 412/2013 dated 19.07.2013 written from office of SP, Distict Indore (West), Satellite Building, Moti Tabela, Indore informed Pankaj Trivedi, Controller, MP Vyapam that case number 539/ 13 under sections 419, 420, 467, 468 had been registered in Police station Rajendra Nagar in connection with PMT 2013 exam and was under investigation. He also supplied the list of 317 suspect candidates, found from the home of the accused, to Pankaj Trivedi.
Vyapam controller Pankaj Trivedi virtually issues instruction to Principal Secretary, Medical Eduction department, Government of MP
Owing to the political patronage enjoyed by him, Pankaj Trivedi, Examination controller, Vyapam was unperturbed and despite being involved neck-deep in corruption, he audaciously wrote a letter to Principal Secretary, Medical education department, Government of MP regarding PMT scam, virtually issuing instruction to his superior officer. In point no 4 of letter number MP Vyapam/4674 Bhopal dated 20.07.2013 he writes, “In view of the above fact and the above mentioned letter of SP (West), District Indore, the fake / suspect candidates who have found place in the merit list should be allotted seats on a provisional basis during counselling with the condition that if his or her involvement in the crime number 539 / 18 is proved in the course of police probe / investigation, then his or her candidature will be considered automatically cancelled”.
Vyapam cancels exam of only 345 of the 876 candidates identified as suspect from total 1120 suspect candidates listed by STF
MP Vyapam, through letter number MP Vyapam / 6297 / 2013 Bhopal dated 09/10/2013, on the basis of the recommendations of a 5-member committee, cancelled the examinations of 345 of the 876 suspect candidates under section 4.12 of chapter 4 of the rules concerned.
The key excerpts from the letter are: -“The committee, on the basis of study, analysis and comprehensive consideration and on the basis of recommendations of technical experts, has reached to the conclusion that there are 345 such candidates, who names figure in the lists provided both by STF, Bhopal and Crime Branch, Indore. It is thus clear that these candidates were involved in the conspiracy of getting their roll numbers changed. These candidates had contacted the accused and their numbers were changed after the generation of roll numbers. Thus, it is proved that 345 candidates were given undue advantage. On the basis of the report regarding logic of roll numbers mentioned in the report, documents obtained by the police, report of the committee and rules of the board, it is clear that the roll numbers of 876 candidates were changed irregularly and without any reason. Of these, the names of 346 candidates have been confirmed by the committee. There is a pattern in the allotment of roll numbers of these 346 candidates as they were allotted roll numbers in a particular order in a well-planned manner, along with candidates from other states. Such pattern cannot emerge if any random allotment procedure is used. Hence, the candidature of these 345 candidates is cancelled.
Nav Dunia, Bhopal exposes PMT scam on July 4, 2013, three days before PMT exam
Nav Dunia, Bhopal published from Bhopal had exposed the corruption and scam in PMT exam three days before the exam. The newspaper had carried a report saying that PMT seats were sold for Rs 25 to Rs 42 lakhs. But the ruling party, instead of taking action on the basis of the report, ignored the report with the objective of promoting corruption.
Under the influence of ruling party, MP Online also party to scam
Complaints of irregularities on the website during allotment of seats for admission to colleges through MP Online have also come to the fore. Questions have been raised about Links concerned closing suddenly and allotment of seats to other candidates on re-opening of Link. The details are as under: a) 4.00 PM – Allotment Link was opened. One allotment was issued. Total links on webpage -8 . b) 6.10 PM – The Link of allotment letter was closed and Link was removed. Remaining Links -6. c) 6.47 PM – Link of Revised Allotment letter opens. One letter issued. Remaining Links – 6 d) 8.00 PM – Link of vacancies in private medical colleges and Final round allotment removed. Remaining links -6. e) 9.36 PM – Allotment link removed. Remaining links – 2. f) 12.30 AM – Remaining Link 1, All other Links removed. By morning, the webpage had become corrupt.
Was PMT Question paper leaked?
Patrika, Bhopal carried a news item on 09/07/2013 saying that a clerk of Bhopal had revealed 175 of the 200 questions while the exam was to be held on Sunday morning.
Names of key middlemen
Gang 1: Jagdish Sagar
Gang 2: Sudhir Rai, Santosh Gupta, Tarang Sharma, Dileep Gupta,
Gang 3: Sajiv Shilpakar (Absconding)
Irregularities in exams conducted by Vyapam before and after PMT exposed
Irregularities in exams conducted by Vyapam before and after PMT have also come to light. These include Police recruitment exam, Excise exam, Patwari selection exam, Contractual teachers' exam and Transport conatbles' exam. Complaints were made to the police regarding irregularities and exchange of money in Contractual teacher's exam.. But it seems that due to political pressure, no action was taken on these complaints. Instead, the police handed over the work of conducting Police recruitment exam to Vyapam.
Mandatory physical test done away with in recruitment of transport constables under patronage of ruling party
Though physical test is a part of recruitment process for constables in any department or force, the mandatory physical test was done away, with in recruitment of transport constables probably to enable selection of physically unfit candidates as transport constables under the patronage and with the blessings of the ruling party.
Instead of taking stern action against Vyapam, ruling establishment handed over responsibility of conducting exams of 64 departments to Vyapam.
Not only was stern action not taken against the Vyapam officials in PMT 2013 scam by the MP government but the BJP government of the state, probably with a view to promote corruption in Vyapam, handed over the work of conducting exams for 64 departments to Vyapam and proposals with regard to 53 departments have already been sent to Vyapam. This seems to indicate that the ruling party wanted to promote and expand corruption in Vyapam.
During my tenure all recruitments were done through employment exchanges which did not allow outsiders from other states with moneybags to take up jobs in Madhya Pradesh. However, unfortunately the BJP discontinued with the practice.
I strongly demand that the said case in Madhya Pradesh should be investigated by CBI as even the neighboring state of Chattisgarh which had a similar scam, has opted for CBI investigation to ensure that the guilty are bought to book. While in Madhya Pradesh there is deafening silence on CBI demand as BJP is scared that their high & mighty will get exposed.
Secondly, if the call details of Pankaj Trivedi telephone during the period when recruitment of traffic constables, sub–inspector etc. was being done through Vyapam, are bought in public domain by investigating agency it will bring to light the hands of various BJP leaders in the scam.
The PMT scam and scams related to other departmental exams are directly related with injustice with the young generation, it is the duty of every citizen to oppose injustice with the youth because only energetic and competent youth can actively contribute to nation building in the 21st centruy. Inspired by these sentiments, this article is dedicated to the youth.