Sports Authority of India (SAI) athletics coach, Om Parkash Sinhmar, arranged for a Haryana state-level certificate of merit to get his daughter, Anshu, a seat in an MTech course under the sports quota.
The certificate claimed that Anshu had cleared 5.6 metres to win the long jump gold at the State Senior Athletics Championship in Sonepat in April last.
On the basis of this, Anshu sought admission in MTech (Chemical Engineering) at the Panjab University, Chandigarh.
However, the bluff was exposed when PU held trials in July to verify her credentials. Anshu could not even touch the 2m mark and fouled all her three attempts. HT is in possession of her trial sheet.
“How come a state champion, who has jumped 5.6m, was unable to touch even 2m during trials? The reality is that she was never into the sport. I was present during the trials and she didn’t have an idea of long jump,” said Gurmeet Singh, then director of sports, PU.
“I got a number of calls asking me not to raise objections to her application during the trials. Had I done so, I would have allowed a non-deserving candidate to get admission under the sports quota,” he added.
Anshu was not the only one to be rejected by the PU during trials. In 2012, three netball players, with original certificates, were rejected. Similarly, eight applicants --- taekwondo (2), ball badminton (3), swimming (2) and one each in canoeing and kayaking --- were rejected on the basis of trials in 2011.
The first step is to select a non-deserving student in a team sport. During a championship, the player is among the extras but is a part of the squad, which entitles him to a participation certificate. If the team wins a medal, he gets a certificate of merit. There have also been cases when a player has competed under a different name, while the certificate was issued in a different name.
Last year, the president of the Netball Federation of India had registered an FIR against officials of the Chandigarh Netball Association and two players for participating under different names at the 29th and 30th Nationals in Rai, Sonepat, in 2012 and 2013.
“A few years back, we got a number of complaints that some members of the Andhra Pradesh women’s skating hockey team had made it after paying money so that the certificate could get them admission into medical colleges,” said Roller Skating Federation of India referee, Harpreet Singh.
“Since the 2008 Nationals, we have made every member of the team skate before matches, and if somebody can’t skate well, his name is struck off.