Punjab Medical Colleges Stare at Vacant NRI Seats
Medical colleges in Punjab look at reducing the fee to address the issue of vacant seats under the NRI quota.
Like previous years, most NRI seats in medical colleges in Punjab see signs of remaining vacant this year too. For the 300 seats reserved for NRIs in MBBS and BDS courses in private and government medical colleges in the state, only 41 candidates have registered for online counselling that is scheduled to take place on August 4.
A similar scenario is repeated every year, officials at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, the nodal agency for NEET 2017 admission this year, said, the Hindustan Times reported. “There are few NRI candidates and seats will be surplus,” a senior official with BFUHS was quoted as saying by the publication. “After the August 4 counselling, vacant NRI seats in government colleges will be merged with the general quota seats. Seats in private colleges will be merged with management quota seats,” he added.
Fee Reduction in Colleges
The issue of vacant NRI seats in BDS and MBBS courses is now prompting many private medical colleges to consider lowering the student fee to lure more candidates. The fee for government and private medical colleges in the state is fixed by the Department of Medical Education and Research, but some private institutions have been given autonomy to decide it on their own.
For instance, Sri Guru Ram Das Medical College (SGRDMC) at Amritsar on Thursday reduced the tuition fee from $1.1 lakh (Rs 70 lakh) to $95,000 (Rs 60.47 lakh) for MBBS course and waived registration fee worth $16,500 (Rs 10.5 lakh), according to the Tribune. NRI students will effectively have to pay $31,500 (Rs 20.05 lakh) less this time at the SGPC-run medical college, which offers 23 MBBS seats under the NRI quota. The college has also brought down the tuition fee for the BDS course from $44,000 (Rs 28 lakh) to $30,000 (Rs 19.09 lakh), and said that it will not charge hostel fee from NRI students pursuing the course.
The move by the Amritsar college is now making other institutions think in the same direction, the daily reported. Adesh Medical College, Bathinda, which has a fixed MBBS fee under the NRI quota at $1.25 lakh (Rs 79.5 lakh), is also considering a reduction in the cost of the course.
Seats Under NRI Quota
The government has fixed a quota of 15% seats for NRIs in medical colleges. In 2016, only seven candidates qualified for the 75 reserved seats under the NRI quota in government colleges in the state, and about 60 per cent of the 74 seats in private colleges did not have qualifying candidates, according to an older HT report.
In total, government and private medical and dental colleges in Punjab last year found 29 eligible candidates to fill 208 NRI quota seats, and only 15 students got enrolled, the Tribune reported.