She scored 100% in mathematics in her Class 10 boards, 97% in Class 12 biology and a gold medal in MBBS first year. But Renu Verma's (name changed) world came crashing down when her MBBS admission was suspended as an alleged beneficiary of the Vyapam exam-rigging scam.
"I don't know what made the Special Task Force conclude that I used a scorer to get marks in PMT. I got a gold medal in MBBS first year and one fine morning, I was told my admission in MBBS had been suspended. I was stunned, not knowing how to react, where to go, what to do," Renu told HT over the phone from Indore.
While thousands of students who fraudulently secured admissions in the multi-crore scam have grabbed most of the attention, a silent minority of brilliant and hard-working students like Renu have paid a heavy price for no fault of theirs. Angry at the system for cheating them of their academic dreams, they now have no choice but to wait and watch.
It may be a long wait. The Central Bureau of Investigation probing one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals that has affected at least 2.5 million students and seen about 40 suspicious deaths of witnesses and accused could take months, if not years, to complete its investigation.
Renu cleared the medical entrance tests of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the AIPMT and the All India Manipal University Online Entrance Test in the year 2011. But the most cruel twist in her academic career was to come by way of her decision to study at the Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, so that she could stay in her home state.
“My daughter got the 120th rank in the MP PMT, 1,638th in the Manipal University entrance, 713rd in the Rajasthan PMT and 3,300th in the AIPMT," said Renu's father, a practising doctor himself. "And she was suspended from MBBS on some doubt without sparing a thought as to what would happen to her and our reputation."
Renu's father said he wanted to highlight the issue anonymously so that the authorities could be sensitised to the condition of good students suffering for no fault of theirs.
"I can show you students who scored 50% marks in Class 12, got admission in medical college and are failing in MBBS for years but still studying comfortably with nobody to raise a finger at them," he said.
Suspicion was raised over Renu's case on the grounds that she obtained the same score as the candidate seated next to her.
“The investigation has been going on for more than a year but they have come to no conclusion yet. The students disqualified on the basis of stupid formulas evolved to identify beneficiaries of the scam are struggling. The probe may take years, with the students left in the lurch at a critical point in their careers,” the girl's father said.