Only hours after the national eligibility-cumentrance test (NEET) results for post-graduate medical courses are declared, qualified candidates and their parents are bombarded with calls and messages from ‘agents’ and ‘consultants’ promising to save a seat for them, albeit at aprice.

The NEET (PG) results were declared by the National Board of Examinations on February 16. Less than 48 hours hence, parents and students started receiving calls and messages from brokers who promised a medical seat under management quota. “Soon after the results were declared, a broker called us claiming that he would get us a management quota seat (for medical) for a specific amount.

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While he didn’t share details about the amount, he convinced us to come and meet him personally at the earliest,” said K Ramchandra Raju, grandfather of a candidate who secured above 40,000 rank in the NEET (PG).

While the Supreme Court has issued strict orders about admissions being conducted only on a merit basis, dozens of brokers are on the prowl to lure any barely-qualified MBBS graduate with deep pockets to ‘sell’ these seats at a premium.

So wide are they casting their net that even PG medicos in their final year or finished their post-graduation a couple of years ago, have their inboxes flooded with these offers. “Even today I receive these messages. While the messages claim that they will offer guidance, it eventually boils down to brokerage to secure a seat under the institutional quota,” said Koushik Shivaji, who secured a convenor quota seat last year in general surgery.

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Parents fear that their numbers are either being circulated by under-graduate college managements and coaching institutions or being procured by hacking online NEET entrants’ application process. “At times it is scary to evaluate as to how the brokers manage to get our phone numbers. The concerned authorities must take measures to curb qualified candidates from falling prey to such tactics,” said Ramchandra.

Dr B Karunakar Reddy, vice chancellor of Kaloji Narayan Rao University of Health Sciences, while acknowledging the existence of these agents, said: “The brokers might be tapping qualified candidates for the 10 per cent seats that are available in each private college under the institutional quota. While the list of candidates to be considered for the seats is provided by the colleges, the seats are only allotted by us after the counselling process and on merit basis.” #KhabarLive