Vyapam Scam

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The Vyapam Scam (Hindi acronym of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam) hits headlines recently, when Akshay Singh, a reporter with a news channel collapsed while interviewing parents of a medical student, who found dead three years ago. Till now approx. 48 people (unofficial figure) have died who are directly or indirectly related to and/or linked with the said Scam. Now questions stems from the unexplained deaths, as the state government itself has admitted that more than 20 people who were involved into the probe had died unnaturally.

The MPPEB, popularly known as “Vyapam”, is a self financed autonomous body, responsible for conducting various entrance examinations in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, for recruitment to various state government jobs and also for admission in various government and non-government educational institutions in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

So now the question arises as to what the Vyapam Scam is all about. The Vyapam Scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving senior bureaucrats, politicians and businessman of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The financial and administrative irregularity in conducting the said examinations was first reported in the mid 1990’s which further turned up into filing of a FIR in the year 2000. The scam is related to offering of high marks to the undeserving candidates against acceptance of kickbacks from them. It is alleged that many of the senior politicians including then education minister of M.P. had accepted the kickbacks from some undeserved candidates and offered them high marks in the entrance examinations. But no strict action was taken by the government against the culprits until 2009.

It is in the year 2009, when major complaints surfaced in the pre-medical tests, an Indore based RTI activist Mr. Anand Rai, filed a PIL, requesting the investigation of the matter and pursuant to that PIL a committee was formed by the state government to probe into the matter. The said committee submitted its report in the year 2011 and found over 100 people guilty for causing financial and administrative irregularities in the entrance test to give undue benefits to some candidates belonging to rich families against some kickbacks. The colossal scale of the Vyapam scam came in to light in the year 2013, when STF found 17 peoples, impersonating the PMT candidates against the huge money received from them. Later on during the investigation STF had come to know that these scamsters had rigged five entrance tests involving the PMT entrance test and found that more than 250 candidates was selected through fraudulent means. Since 2012, around 2000 people have been arrested by the Local Police and STF, involving then education minister and bureaucrats. In the year 2015, STF found evidence against the State Governor for criminal conspiracy in rigging up the entrance examinations conducted by the MPPEB or Vyapam.

After the allegations made against the state Governor, the CM of the state had moved to the High Court, requesting the Court to hand over the probe to the CBI, which the High Court duly accepted and ordered for the CBI investigation. Now at this present time what is needed is an independent and complete investigation into the swathe-up and the wider conspiracy, if any, behind these deaths. It is needed to be determined that whether these were engineered to protect someone.

Author: Vivek Sharma
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