Making sense of Vyapam scam

GN Bureau | July 22, 2015



It is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior government officials, businesspersons and touts. Undeserving candidates bribed politicians and MPPEB officials, through middlemen, to get high ranks in entrance tests to professional courses or to secure jobs.

This happened at the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPBP), the government body responsible for conducting entrance and recruitment tests for the state. It is popularly known as ‘Vyapam’ (Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal). 

It is claimed that over 70 lakh candidates paid bribes to secure seats or jobs.

How it was carried out

By impersonation: All the information of the candidate remained the same, except the photograph. The candidate’s photograph was replaced by that of the impersonator and after the exam, it was changed back to the original. Obviously, the impersonators were brilliant students and they received huge sums to keep their mouths shut.

By clever seating: A designated person was strategically made to sit in front of the candidate in question. The person let the candidate copy from his sheet or exchanged the sheet at the end of the exam.

By answer sheets: The candidates in question were asked to leave their answer sheets blank and were given high marks in the exam, or they were given solved sheets before the exam.

Killer scam

Some 35 have died since 2012 – eight of them only this year. Some committed suicide, others suffered heart attacks and accidents.
Namrata Damodar, a 19-year-old medical student accused in the scam, was found dead on the railway tracks near Ujjain. Police filed a ‘suicide’ report. But Dr BB Purohit, one of those who performed the autopsy, says there were bruises on the nose and mouth, indicating strangulation as the cause of death.

The latest Vyapam victim is Akshay Singh, a Delhi-based reporter with the Aaj Tak TV channel. On July 4, as he was interviewing the parents of Namrata Damodar in Sagar, he began frothing at the mouth and collapsed.

Dr DK Sakalle, dean of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose medical college, Jabalpur, was found in his home. He was looking into cases of fake admissions in the medical college.

Dr Arun Sharma, another dean of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose medical college, Jabalpur, was found dead in his hotel room in Delhi. He was assisting the STF in the probe.
 

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