One India, many states. This year's medical admissions may have given it a new meaning. Wanting to improve their chances in state government colleges, aspirants are claiming domicile of multiple states.
While TOI has refrained from printing names and the exact NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) and state ranks of hundreds of these aspirants, the list of such dubious applicants has been provided to the state's Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).
For instance, Ramesh Rai with a unique NEET rank also has an in-state rank in Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Then, there are some south Indian candidates who have applied in one state with their full names (first name and surname) and in some other states with their first name and their father's name as the second name; with one common NEET rank, it was not difficult for TOI to hunt them down.
Picture this: Mahi Iyengar on the Maharashtra list is Mahi Srinath on the Delhi list as also on the Uttar Pradesh state merit list; but her NEET rank of 63,000+ is common across these rank lists. Candidates are vying for state quota seats in multiples parts of India: Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Telangana, MP , Karnataka, Delhi, Rajasthan and UP . The blatantly unfair move translates into double the options for a fraudulent candidate who claims domicile of more than one state.It opens the doors of all government colleges and 85% seats of all private colleges of the states she claims domicile in. Moreover, this candidate, like others, can also apply under the 15% all-India quota filled by the DGHS and for the 85% seats in all deemed universities across India.
On the other hand, if the student follows the rules and has the domicile of one state, s he would be categorized as an out-of-state candidate in all other states other than the one she has a domicile of, and would not have access to government medical colleges of other states or to the 85% seats in private colleges elsewhere either.
On Sunday , parents and students met Maharashtra medical education minister Girish Mahajan who assured them of action. “We want to know how these students got multiple states' domicile. We are trying to link these NEET ranks with the students' Aadhaar cards,“ said Sudha Shenoy . With no coordination among states, most state officials were clueless about candidates applying for multiple instate quota seats. It is the parents of medical aspirants who had to dig up details after poring over pages of states' merit lists. “This puts so many genuine candidates across several states at a disadvantage,“ said Rajesh Jain, member of the Parents Association of Medical Students, Maharashtra. To be a part of the state quota, Jain said, a student needs to have taken at least the Class XII board exam for that state, if not both Class X and XII.
“These duplicate names ...prove the point we have been making right from the start: there are students who travel across India and sit for Class XII exams in many states as external candidates,“ he added.Mahajan told TOIthey have received several complaints and have asked the department to probe each one. “We will be scrutinizing the state merit lists to find out such cases. On ce complaints are established we will recommend to the Centre to take action against such students,“ he said.
Mahajan said some parents have moved the Aurangabad bench against the loopholes in the NEET admissions, and the state would support the parents. DMER head Dr Praveen Shingare has asked TOI to share other states' merit lists and candidates who have claimed domicile in multiple states.
HC bench relief for students
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay HC ruled that students who did not take the Class X exam from the state but took the Class XII exam from Maharashtra and have a domicile certificate, would be considered state students. Data from the DMER revealed that 48,977 candidates had not appeared for Class X from the state, but had taken the Class XII exam.