Sports quota: All norms thrown to the winds

Hyderabad: Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS) Deputy Director G Venkataramana did not fulfill mandatory eligibility criteria to be a member of the scrutiny committee for issuing a copy of allotment of priorities to sportspersons for admission into MBBS/BDS courses under the sports quota, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sources said.

The committee itself was constituted in violation of the orders issued by the State government, sources said after the arrest of Venkataramana here on Wednesday. The committee was not following norms prescribed by the government and was carrying out the scrutiny of certificates of sportspersons on their whims and fancies, the sources said.

During investigation, officials found that the committee was also found to be manipulating the ranks of sportspersons, thereby denying a chance to genuine sportspersons to get a seat in MBBS/BDS courses under sports quota. The committee was formed through an internal order only without following the norms laid down by the State government in 2015, a senior official said.

For instance, hockey player Bharathchandra Reddy, son of the complainant Satyanarayana, stood third in the priority list. However, Bharathchandra’s name did not figure in the final list. In this way, the committee used to manipulate ranks rendering injustice to eligible sportspersons. The official said the ACB was yet to identify the number of candidates who had benefitted through the irregularities. “A detailed investigation is on. It will take some more time to get clarity on the case,” the official said.

When his attention was drawn to the future of candidates, who had already joined college after allegedly benefitting through the committee, he said the government would take a decision on it. “Our job is to probe violations committed by the scrutiny committee and the number of persons involved in it,” the official added.

‘Scam just tip of the iceberg’

Sports Bureau

Hyderabad: The MBBS seats allocation scam under the sports quota has evoked strong response from the sports fraternity with well-known badminton coach S M Arif terming the scandal as ‘just tip of the iceberg’. “I firmly believe that sports will really come up if due importance is given to the sportspersons. They are the people who sweat it out and their parents put a lot of money in it.

What has happened is just a tip of the iceberg. There are so many departments where corruption is rampant. For example, at many tournaments manipulation of draws is a major problem. People who are at the helm of affairs are influencing the draws so that their trainees get easy ones. Money is one part but there are many areas where there are malpractices,” he said.

Norman Isaac, secretary of Telangana Basketball Association, feels that the committee formed to verify certificates should have the required credentials to do so. “The government should ensure proper selection of people who will be part of the committee to decide on reservations for sportspersons. It is really sad that such scams are coming out. As an association member I feel that the persons ith the right credentials should be at the helm. Associations and federations should give proper certification to the athletes. They should ascertain whether they are genuine or not and should inform the committee about it. Certificates should be given in accordance with the norms laid out,” he said

The basketball association secretary further said that the government should form a clear policy on reservations being provided under sports quota. “There should be clarity on the quota allotted to sports under this category. Only a few individual sports disciplines, where there is more scope of winning medals, are getting priority. But in a team game it is difficult. The government framed the policies and only individual athletes winning gold medals are in the limelight and that makes it difficult for team events.

The scam came to light when a few students alleged that the SATS officials created fake certificates and took money to allot four MBBS seats to underqualified candidates ignoring players who had represented the State at various tournaments.

Three students Bharatachandra Reddy, Varshitha Raj and another one said they were not considered for the 10 medical seats which were under the sports quota despite having the required qualification.

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