Karnataka may amend rules to end seat-blocking scam

One major change is to prevent surrendering medical, engineering, dental and other professional course seats after the mop-up round.

To put an end to seat-blocking in professional courses, the state government plans to bring in amendments to the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions and determination of Fee) Act 2006.

Sources in the Department of Higher Education said Minister for Higher Education and Medical Education Dr C N Ashwath Narayan has informed officials of both medical and higher education to frame amendments.

One major change is to prevent surrendering medical, engineering, dental and other professional course seats after the mop-up round. “Surrendering the seats before the mop-up round would prevent 90% of the seat-blocking and this is the suggestion we received from most of the experts,” said a senior official in the department.

In a major step, officials said, the department is also planning to make it mandatory to allot the surrendered seats through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) according to CET and NEET ranking. “In case the students surrender seats after the mop-up round, then they should pay entire course fee as penalty which will be transferred to respective colleges,” explained an official.

These amendments will be proposed before signing the consensual agreement with private professional college managements for the academic year 2020-21 for which the process will begin soon.

With the existing act, there are no restrictions on students to surrender seats after the mop-up round. Even experts feel that the present procedure helps touts and college managements to block seats using meritorious students.

“With this, we also plan to write to the Medical Council of India requesting them to direct all states to collect original documents and certificates during the seat allotment. This will help keep scamsters away from the state,” the official said.

The medical seat-blocking scam was busted during the recent I-T raids on two deemed-to-be medical universities in the state. A committee was formed in the Medical Education Department to conduct an inquiry into the alleged seat blocking by 212 students in eight medical colleges during 2018-19 academic year.

This was also accepted by the previous medical education minister E Tukaram who directed the department officials to communicate this to Medical Council of India seeking action against 212 students who surrendered seats and joined other colleges.

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