The admissions to Punjab’s MBBS courses under the NRI quota in private colleges have come under fresh scanner. In an unprecedented step, earlier the Punjab state government has abolished the mandatory Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) requirement for the NRI students aspiring to pursue MBBS from any of the eight private colleges in the state.
Allowing the petition filed by one Mr. Krishma Bansal, the Chandigarh High court (HC) quashed the notice issued on August 6 by the government. The government had revised the criteria for the MBBS and BDS courses for 2015 and opted for filling vacant NRI seats on the basis of the marks obtained in 10+2 (qualifying examination) instead of selecting the candidates from the merit list of PMET examination entrance test. All that these students would have required now was just a 50% aggregate marks in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCM) subjects in Class XII standard or an equivalent examination, plus $1,10,000 (around Rs. 63 lakhs) fee for the five-year course. The charges for the four-year BDS course were fixed at $44,000 (around Rs. 27 lakh).
So far, qualifying the entrance was mandatory for all candidates, including the NRIs. By relaxing the norms, the government was aiming to fill the remaining 85 NRI-quota seats vacant since the counseling during the current academic session. In the past, all such vacant seats were merged with the general category, which translated into the financial losses for these colleges.Punjab has 102 NRI-quota MBBS seats and this year only 64 candidates applied for them. Out of them, 52 took the test and only 17 students managed to secure the qualifying marks. Importantly, the NRI seats are seen as a major financial advantage for the medical and dental colleges in Punjab and each of these colleges has 15% reservation for the NRI students. These institutes had for long been demanding to abolish the PMET rider for the NRIs.