Website luring MBBS aspirants with fake scholarship entrance test: Report
New Delhi: In the present time when the availability of information via online medium has made it difficult to distinguish the authentic from the fake, a website claiming to have tie-ups with leading universities and medical colleges call for a "medical scholarship entrance test" for providing scholarships to students aspiring to pursue MBBS, BAMS, BHMS, BDS and others.
However, Career 360, in its recent report, has expressed the possibility that the website in question might be fake and designed specially to cheat the students.
As the daily couldn't trace its parent organization and the authorities of the participating universities have denied having any links with the website, suspicions have been raised against the website to be a bogus one.
The website in question is aimset.in and it describes itself as a website conducting All India Medical Scholarship Entrance Test, acronym, AIMSET. From the logo used by the website, it looks identical to that of government portals like MyGov.in, India.gov.in, and Digital India. As claimed by the website, AIMSET is a national level scholarship test provided by an organization Intact Advertising Pvt. Ltd. Registered under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of India.
The test is designed for students, as described by the website, for the students (Both either a class 12th pass out or appearing in-class 12th are eligible for the same), who are aspiring to study in MBBS, BAMS, BHMS, BDS, B. Pharma, B.Sc. Bio-Tech, B.Sc. Agriculture, B.Sc. Nursing, Paramedical, B.P.T, and B.M.L.T, M.Sc., Pharma courses.
However, as per the latest media report by Career 360, the daily couldn't trace the organization called Intact Advertising. Apart from this, the Website also claims to have ties with several UGC-recognized universities across the country. It has listed such institutions as "Participating Institutes".
When pursued, one such university Amity University has informed the daily that there is no such tie-up with the website in question. In fact, they denied having heard of the website at all.
AK Bakshi, Vice-Chancellor of PDM University Haryana, another institution listed on the website, also denied having any knowledge of any such tie-up programs for scholarships.
Meanwhile, the website, as an application fee, is charging Rs 1,200 plus GST for general category students and Rs 1,000 for applicants from the reserved categories. The application fees for girls from all categories have been fixed at Rs 1,000 by the website. Finally, it has been announced in the Refund and Cancellation section that "We do not entertain refund and cancellation in any circumstances."
Career 360 adds that confusingly the website also has an "About Institutes" section which promises quality hostels, campus facilities and foreign exchange programs.
Apart from these issues, in the section titles "Latest Updates" the website has uploaded a number of National Testing Agency (NTA) notifications including the date of NEET (UG) 2021 examination and "NEET Syllabus 2021". The daily reports that although the notice regarding the date of examination is correct, the one containing the syllabus is false. NTA is yet to publish the complete information bulletin for the examination.
On the other hand, contrary to the claims made by the website, which has announced an online counselling process for admission, the actual counselling gets done by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) at the central level and by various state government bodies for the seats belonging to the states.
The website claims that after writing the AIMSET test, the qualified candidates would be eligible for admission at more than 300 government and 500 private medical colleges. It also boasts of a "global exposure" by providing the students with opportunities to study with global students. "Students will go to abroad in UK, USA, Ukraine, Canada and get the global exposure with the partners' universities," claims the website.
The website has mentioned the deadline for the last date of application as March 20. However, when Career 360 contacted the helpline, the attendant called Anshuman Goswami mentioned that no date has been set for any exam yet. The attendant further denied sharing information regarding the details of the number of students who have submitted the application or the participating institutions.
When asked about the government logos on the website, Goswami informed the daily that the website developer had used a standard template which would be removed if asked to.
Career 360 has also approached the NTA and National Board of Examination (NBE) to get a better idea regarding the website. However, till the publication of the report, there was no reply from any of the two.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported a similar incident where the Bhopal Cyber Crime branch had detained three masterminds of a cybercrime racket for duping almost 172 NEET candidates with Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,00,000 each.