This is a severe blow to numerous PG aspirants who could otherwise have got a seat had the vacant NRI seats been converted to government seats.

335 vacant NRI seats in Ktaka converted to management quota in 3rd round of NEETPTI / File photo
news NEET exam Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 16:11

In the ongoing third round of Karnataka state counselling for NEET, in PG medical and dental seats, 335 vacant NRI seats have been converted to the “other” category. This means that the seats will now go to the management quota – and not the government quota – and therefore only students who can pay up will be able to avail them.

This is a severe blow to numerous PG aspirants who could otherwise have got a seat had the vacant NRI seats been converted to government seats.

This year, 372 seats were allotted for the NRI quota in Karnataka, of which five were filled for PG dental and 32 for PG medical. Three hundred and thirty five seats became vacant and it is these seats that will now come under the “other” category. In total, there are 2275 seats including NRI seats in Karnataka.

The seats that have now been converted to the “other” category, that falls under the management quota. And the aspirants are left with little option but to pay through their nose if they want a PG seat.

While students are unhappy with this move, officials in charge say this is by the book – and that management quota seats and NRI quota seats are the only way in which medical colleges can subsidise government quota seats.

Dr S Sacchidanand, Director of Medical Education, told TNM, “In Karnataka, we have the consensual agreement between private and government colleges. As per this agreement, 75% seats are given at subsidized rates. The fee ranges from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh, depending on whether the seat is clinical, pre-clinical or para-clinical. Nowhere in India, 75% of seats at an institution are offered at this rate.”

“The students are the beneficiary here,” the DME further said. “Of the 25% seats which are remaining, as per the stipulation, 15% is for NRI quota and 10% is other seats. Now if the college has to give the subsidized fee for 75% seats, it has to charge a bit higher in NRI and other quota seats," he said.

“If this is contrasted against Deemed Universities, they have 85% management seats and 15% NRI seats. And these management seats cost between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 25 lakh a year, whereas our seats are between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh. So this is the benefit students are getting,” he added.

The DME further said that since not enough NRI candidates applied, they decided to convert them to management quota seats.

“But students are demanding NRI seats be converted to general merit seats. This is not possible. These are all high fee seats and they are meant to be high fee seats so that they cover the cost of the subsidized 75% seats,” he said.

The fee structure

The fee for a government seat for a medical course is Rs 5.06 lakh per year, while it is Rs 7.59 lakh for a private quota seat. For dental, a government seat will cost Rs 2.58 lakh per year, while a private quota seat will cost Rs 4.04 lakh. The fee for NRI and Management quota seats, however, can range from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 85 lakh a year, depending on the branch.

Earlier, PG aspirants had alleged that there has been an illegal shifting of seats from the government quota to the Management and NRI quotas in private colleges, especially for high-demand branches of medicine.

Read: ‘Plum seats for NRIs, less under govt quota in K’taka medical colleges’: PG aspirants

Dr Ganesh, a PG aspirant, had told TNM earlier, “This shifting of seats from the government quota to Management and NRI quota for highly lucrative branches like radio diagnosis is illegal. This has resulted in a shortage of seats in the government quota… meritorious students will have to cough up a lot more under the private quota or the Management or NRI quota, if they can even afford it.”

Also read: Reservation for the elite: Why don’t we blame NRI quota for ‘death of meritocracy’?

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