Is the scam in DMAT— the examination to fill medical and dental seats in the private colleges in the MP — to the tune of more than R10,000 crore, rivalling the multi-layered Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam in magnitude?
The initial revelations made by ex-controller of the Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) exam, Yogesh Uprit, to the special investigation team of Gwalior police indicate so, sources said.
Interestingly, the arrest of Uprit by Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Gwalior that is working in coordination with the Special Task Force (STF) was part of the PEB scam investigation trail, but his interrogation has brought skeletons tumbling out of the DMAT exam.
Now, thousands of admissions over the years through DMAT (for graduate courses) and Pre-PG DMAT (for post graduate courses) are under scanner.
Candidates reportedly paid between R15 lakh and R1 crore to get the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), MBBS or postgraduate seats, thus taking the racket to the tune of over R10,000 crore in the last nine years.
Every year more than 1,500 graduate and postgraduate seats in private colleges were filled with DMAT conducted by the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC).
Uprit, who has held key posts with the association, was a major link in the entire scam, sources said.
"Over R10,000 crore has easily been transacted in the DMAT scam that has been running right since inception in 2006. All the seats in the private colleges were compromised. I have been filing complaints in the matter since last three years and even Admission and Fees Regulatory Committee (AFRC) has come out with orders against the private colleges and the high court has taken cognizance, but the state government and STF failed to take action, thus allowing the scam to continue," Anand Rai, a whistleblower in the PEB scam said.
Uprit was earlier the PEB director who went to work for the APDMC after retirement and was instrumental in creating the set up for the DMAT that was launched in 2006.
Allegedly one of the key accused in the PEB scam, Nitin Mahindra helped Uprit develop the system, sources in SIT Gwalior added.
Almost all admissions to 58% seats in medical and dental colleges (43% management quota and 15% NRI quota) under the purview of the DMAT were rigged, sources claimed. Also, admissions on many seats under the 42% state quota were rigged by using scorers, Rai alleged.
“The modus operandi was almost similar to the PEB scam where answer sheets of candidates who paid money were filled by the DMAT officials who were in cahoots with private colleges. The exam was just a sham. The middle-men brought the candidates to them,” an SIT Gwalior official said on conditions of anonymity.
Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare on Monday demanded that DMAT be scrapped as the admissions were rigged. However, government spokesperson Narottam Mishra said he was not aware about Uprit’s 'revelations' to the police.
Sources said the STF, Bhopal, probing the PEB scam is likely to take over the DMAT investigation too. The SIT Gwalior has already passed on the content of revelations to the STF.
Additional superintendent of police of the SIT, Gwalior, Virendra Jain told HT all information related to DMAT scam revelations was being compiled and would be handed over to the senior officials for due action. STF chief Sudhir Sahi remained unavailable for comments.