Rudra Kushwah, 25, would have completed his MBBS this year but today he has no idea where his life is headed to.
Kushwah was expelled from the Bundelkhand Medical College in Sagar in 2014 after being indicted in the Vyapam scam, a multi-layered exam-rigging scam in Madhya Pradesh.
He is among hundreds of other MBBS students who met the same fate though they claim to have had no connection with the racket which helped candidates buy seats in medical colleges and government jobs in the state.
The scam had seen 350 medical students being rusticated from colleges from the batches of 2010 to 2012.
Kushwah and other expelled students from different government medical colleges in MP later went to court, which stayed their rustication but, at the same time, directed that their results be withheld till final orders.
A year later, the students are hoping that the CBI -- which took over investigations into the scam earlier this month -- will finally clear their names though many also feel that the scar will remain forever.
The CBI was asked by the Supreme Court to take over the scam probe following widespread allegations that the MP Police special task probe (STF) had bungled the investigations.
The Opposition Congress and whistle-blowers also said that the death of around 40 people, linked to the scam in some way, under mysterious circumstances was an attempt to silence key witnesses. The STF had later taken up a probe into nearly 30 such death cases.
What has left many like Kushwah shocked is what they say is a highly flawed formula adopted by Vyapam -- the Hindi acronym for the professional examination board (PEB) -- to hold them guilty of copying in the pre-medical tests.
After the STF filed a report, Vyapam cancelled the candidature of 90 students, who had appeared in PMT-2010. Kushwah, hailing from Singrauli town, was one of them.
“Through a formula of probability, Vyapam concluded that me and a girl from Manawar town, Khushboo Patidar, were guilty of copying. Who copied from whose copy is not clear to them nor do they know whether we know each other even remotely,” he told HT.
Vyapam pointed out that while Kushwah got 168 marks, Patidar scored 167. Besides, in 169 out of the 200 questions that both attempted, their answers were identical, he added.
The PEB had also concluded that their roll numbers were also not in sync with the serial of roll numbers issued before the exams.
Vivek Nigam, Kushwah’s classmate, said his case was more bizarre.
Nigam, who scored 167 marks out of 200 in PMT-2010, was expelled because the girl sitting next to him, Rinky Jauhari, had scored 156 marks and they had given identical answers to 175 questions -- 140 of them right and 35 wrong.
“I was expelled from the college despite the fact that Rinky had not been selected in PMT-2010. She was selected two years later in 2012. Now she is in medical college and I am out,” Vivek added.
Watch: The A to Z of the Vyapam scam
An STF official admitted that the formula may not be foolproof but it was the most logical.
“The candidates, whose roll numbers were manipulated by Vyapam racketeers, apparently to adjust two candidates next to each other, and when the answers of the two were found to be identical, they were treated as cheats and action recommended against them,” the official said.
PMT whistleblower Ashish Chaturvedi said the “double standards of Vyapam are clear” as it allegedly spared a lot of students from influential backgrounds despite expelling children of farmers or industrial workers.