Scent of another PMT Scam in Himachal

Shimla: With over 20 students from one coaching centre in the state capital having figured in the years Pre-medical Entrance Test merit list and 7 finding a place in the top 10 positions, it has got others suspicious about the competitive examination having been conducted fairly.

Fearing a repeat of the 2006 PMT scam, the government immediately instituted a police inquiry. Handing down the issue for investigation chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said “on a request from vice-chancellor SK Gupta, an inquiry into the complaints received would be conducted by the Additional Director General of Police (CID).”

The truth must surface and if there was any wrongdoing found, stern action would be taken against those found guilty, he warned.

Initiating the inquiry Rajinder Bhatia, SP Crime said “we have seized the records of Vidyapeeth Coaching Centre, Lakkar Bazar and are in the process of questioning people associated with the centre and the examination process.”

SK Gupta, VC of Himachal Pradesh University that conducts the annual competitive exam said that following a media report, one students parent from Mandi had complained about a large number of students from one center having made it into the PMT merit list.

Alleging about the possibility of a paper leak, the parent has also complained before other authorities. Without taking any sides, we asked the government to institute an independent inquiry into the complaint, said Gupta.

Vidyapeet director, Rajinder Awasthi, when contacted said, “We more than welcome an inquiry into the working of our centre.”

In all, 27 students from our centre figuring in the 600 PMT marks cut off merit list and there is nothing unusual about it for last year about 20 of our students qualified the same exam, he said.

“Other than the medical examination, for the first time 13 Himachal students from our centre have qualified the prestigious all India JEE entrance examination for IIT,” claimed Awasthi.

Referring to the 2006 PMT fiasco, whereby after an unsuccessful attempt at a cover up, a special investigation conducted under the supervision of the High Court had tumbled upon a racket in which many of the qualified students and their parents were found involved in having paid several lakhs for the questions paper, Awasthi said, “It was our centre which had blown the whistle on the question paper leak scam then.”

The 2006 PMT exam was subsequently quashed and another one held, in which the whole merit list was overturned.

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