Cash-for-NEET rank calls under scanner

Dr Mrityunjay Singh, secretary of Indian Medical Association (Jamshedpur),  at MGM hospital on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

Jamshedpur: East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amit Kumar on Friday ordered a probe into dubious phone calls asking local NEET candidates, who appeared for the all-India medical entrance in the first week January, to fork out Rs 5 lakh for better ranks.

SSP Anoop T. Mathew has been entrusted with the inquiry following a complaint lodged by Indian Medical Association's city chapter secretary Mrityunjay Singh on Thursday.

Kumar told this newspaper that at least 10 candidates seeking entry into postgraduate medical courses in private and government institutions had received the call.

"The IMA secretary filed a complaint with evidence in a CD. People claiming to be data entry operators with the exam authorities (NEET is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education) in Delhi were heard asking for Rs 5 lakh in lieu of better ranks for easy admission into various medical colleges," he said.

The deputy commissioner has asked SSP Mathew to get call detail records (CDRs) of the four mobile phone numbers from which calls were made to the candidates.

A resident of Sonari, who appeared for NEET this year, said he received a call from the number 7370955495 around 10.30am on Thursday.

"The caller identified himself as one Yashwant Sinha, a data entry operator with NEET in New Delhi. He asked for 50 per cent of the said amount in advance and the remaining money after the results were declared. He shared a bank account number too," said the candidate, requesting anonymity.

The youth said his batchmate too got a similar call 15 minutes before him. "Gradually, we found out eight more candidates like us. The numbers they received calls from were 09007335911, 09934161248 and 8581058853. One of the callers identified himself as Gopal Madhav," said the aspirant.

Puzzled, the candidates contacted IMA secretary Singh. "Some of the students had recorded the conversations and I quickly made a CD before lodging a complaint. We need to unveil the scam. The sanctity of NEET and medical education is at stake," Singh said.

Aspiring doctors who have cleared MBBS are entitled to do a postgraduate course for three years after completing a year-long hospital internship. Admission to PG courses are allowed only after one clears NEET.


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