Websites awash with offer of engineering seats for sale

The e-market is abuzz with ‘hot deals’ ahead of the admission season. 

Along with offers on used cars, laptops, mobile phones and real estate, one can also find offers for medical and engineering seats.  A quick search on some of the popular websites such as Quickr and Olx reveals that the sale of seats is no more a hushed affair but an open business proposition. 

One can sift through it according to their requirement. Pointing to a wide nexus across the country, they are categorised as per state, city, institution and courses. Delhi, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Bangalore, Chennai, name a city in any part of the country, there are seats up for sale. The advertisements extend to NRI quota and management quota. 

One advertisement posted in Hyderabad, on April 27, 2014, promises seats in Karnataka institutions. “Our sole aim is to guide the student smoothly towards its targeted college/university in Karnataka,” the advertiser claims.  Students said several of these agents are authenticated by the institutions, if not all. Raghavendra M, a PG medical aspirant, said that for many students these websites are the only source. “Not every one has enough contacts to secure a seat. For several students, it is these websites that do the job.” 

The agents are authorised by the college, the student said citing his own example. “I recently wrote the entrance exam at KIMS Karad. I had taken a new phone number which nobody except my parents were aware of. I had filled that number in the application from. To my shock, the day before the entrance, I got an SMS on that number from agents about seats in Maharashtra.” 

Personal ads are also placed on these websites by candidates who seek mutual transfer of seats from one institution to another. However, educational institutions warn students about getting cheated. 

In another advertisement posted on April 18, 2014, the advertiser assures seats in top colleges such as R V College of Engineering. 

The advertisement promises, “100 per cent safe, genuine and guaranteed admissions,” directing students, “advance seat booking started for academic year 2014. Contact at the earliest to book your seat in advance and hassle-free process.” The advertisement comes with the logo of RV Institutions. 

Rashtriya Shikshana Samithi Trust (RSST) president M K Panduranga Setty said his institution does not appoint any agents. 

“Some colleges that are not able to fill seats have such a practise but RVCE does not have any agents. Last year, an agent in Kolkata promised seat to a student after collecting a hefty amount. The student landed at our institution demanding his seat. We had to tell him that he was cheated and a police complaint was filed.” 

Setty said the institution would host it on its web page too, for students’ benefit that it does not have any authorised agents.

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