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Now, NRIs can’t sponsor kin’s medical seat under NRI quota: Government

medical seat under NRI quota

British citizens must now earn more than 18,600 pounds a year before a husband or wife from outside the European Economic Area, including countries like India, can settle in the UK..

MUMBAI: In the past 20 years, family trees in India have often seen extensions or additions when a teenager has dreamt of becoming a doctor. A distant non-resident Indian (NRI) uncle or aunt, no matter how near or far the relation, would suddenly turn into a "close relative" and sponsor the India-based teenager's medical education under the 15% NRI quota .

But now, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has decided to do away with the infamous sponsorship practice: its medical counselling committee has stated that only an NRI candidate can take admission in colleges under the quota.

Just about any relative could sponsor a student as a part of this quota in private medical and dental colleges and deemed universities across the country, where a total of 15% seats are set aside for this category.

"NRI Candidates (Including OCI and PIO) are eligible for NRI Quota only and Indian Nationals will be eligible for Management seats only," said a circular from the ministry. "As per Inamdar case of Hon Supreme Court Only Bonafide NRI will be eligible for NRI Quota seats. No NRI Sponsored candidates will be eligible." (sic)

Candidates applying under the NRI category will have to submit their passports and other documents that support their NRI status.

What may come as a windfall for many candidates is that NRI seats that are vacant after the last round of admissions would be converted into management seats during the mop-up round conducted by deemed universities, and the fees charged will be those for management seats. Fees charged for NRI seats can be, at the most, five times higher than those for merit category seats.

However, head of the state Directorate of Medical Research and Education (DMER) Dr Praveen Shingare said that Maharashtra is likely to implement this rule from next year. This admission season, colleges would be allowed to admit sponsored NRI candidates.

"We may follow the practice we have been following for the last 20 years and allow sponsored NRI candidates this year, but not from next year. That said, we need to confirm the same and we are yet to announce the policy we will follow," he said.

Karnataka is another state that has decided not to implement the rule this year and will allow sponsored NRI students.

Though experts said the quota needed to be repaired, medical and dental colleges across India may be hit by an economic crisis by this rule, according to some.

Kamal Kishore Kadam, who heads the AMUPMDC (Association of Managements of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges) said, "If we get NRI candidates, they are welcome. But if we don't get them, then we should get those who are ready to pay NRI fees. For, 85% quota is merit seats, and 15% is for NRIs, and they have to pay five times the fees. The economics of the colleges depends on these 15% students."

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