Four medical aspirants have moved the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench, claiming that they never opted for the NRI seats that were allotted to them in Maharashtra’s NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences. The students have told the court that the fee charged for the NRI seats is too high for them to bear.
The students — Nidhi Pantawane, Riya Meshram, Gayatri Bandhirkar and Vaishnavi Jirafe — have requested the judicial bench to direct the concerned authorities to cancel the allotment list that gave the NRI quota seats to them, and admit them in the same or any other medical college under state quota, the Times of India reported.
The students filed the petition before the court contending that the State Common Entrance Test Cell allotted them MBBS admission under the NRI quota without informing them even though they never sought those seats.
The division bench of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Zaka Haq issued a notice to the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, State Medical Education Department Secretary, Commissioner of State Common Entrance Test Cell and principal of NKPSIMS, who are marked as respondents in the matter.
In their petition, the girls said that the fee for a medical seat for a Non-Resident Indian in the college is Rs 34 lakh per year irrespective of their category. On the other hand, the fee for a seat under the OBC category is Rs 19,000 in a government college and Rs 4.84 lakh in semi-government colleges. The fee for students belonging to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe category is Rs 19,000 in all medical colleges, the report added.
The petitioners have said that since they belong to families with low means of income, it is not possible for them to bear the hefty amount each year. They said that after passing the Class 12 exams, they passed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) with good marks, following which they filled all the requisite forms online, deposited the required fee and opted for the state quota for admission.
They added that they were allotted seats under the NRI quota under the second round of counselling.
Under the NRI quota, Indian medical colleges reserve 15 percent of the total seats for Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin, Overseas Citizen of India and foreigners. Candidates applying for NRI seats in medical colleges should have got a rank in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), which is the only gateway to get a medical or dental seat in Indian medical colleges.
The managements of these colleges has the discretion to decide the fee for these seats.
Several medical colleges in the country have increased the fee for the NRI quota seats, the Hindu had recently reported. The cost for a four-and-a-half-year course now ranges between Rs 99 lakh and Rs 1.88 crore, according to the publication.
NRI seats are reserved to generate more revenue for medical colleges but due to high tuition fee, many of these seats remain vacant and are then converted into general category seats. Reports of NRI seats being sold to ineligible candidates have also surfaced from time to time.
Admissions through NRI quotas are not limited to medical colleges only. Managements of engineering colleges were recently permitted by the Kerala government to transfer their vacant seats to the NRI quota.