NRI PG medical fees at deemed universities for converted seat

MUMBAI: Post-graduate medical students across India seeking admission in the last leg of the all-India mop-up round are facing a challenge. This year, unfilled NRI seats have been converted into general category seats; deemed universities, though, are demanding NRI fees. Students are shocked as the conversion means little if they have to shell out 4 times the fees despite top scores. What adds to the ordeal is that as candidates fill their seat choice, there is now no distinction between the management seat and the NRI seat that was converted for want of such candidates.

NRI PG medical fees at deemed universities for converted seat

At D Y Patil Medical College, Pune, there are currently 4 vacancies each in the NRI and management seat categories for MD (general surgery). In the mop-up round, these are being shown as 8 vacancies under ahead: "MGT". With no clarity on which four candidates will be allotted an NRI seat and who would be assigned the management seat, students are at a loss about moving forward.

"There is enormous confusion among candidates. With NRI seats getting added to the pool of general category seats, candidates are unsure of what they will be allotted. Most students can't afford NRI fees. If they get assigned an NRI seat they will have to give it up. In the bargain, they stand to lose the deposit," said parent representative Sudha Shenoy.

This year, the National Medical Commission has tightened the screws on the controversial NRI quota in medical institutes. In a January 10 order, the medical counseling committee decided to convert unfilled seats reserved for NRIs, Muslims, and Jains, to the general "Indian national" seats in the mop-up round, the last admission round conducted by the government. 

Fee inquiry calls to several deemed universities were met with one response that NRI fees would be charged from candidates who are allotted NRI seats, converted or not. "Last year, deemed universities were directed to charge the management quota fees from Indian citizens who were allotted an NRI seat. But 90% of medical colleges did not comply with that and no action was taken against them," said Dr. Pravin Shingare, former head of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research.

Senior officials from the NMC said candidates would be handed a letter stating that they have been assigned a non-NRI seat. "How will deemed universities then charge NRI fees from them?" asked one.

AMUPMDC head Kamal Kishore Kadam said the government had "misunderstood" the cost of medical education. "The Maharashtra government spends about Rs 35 to Rs 40 lakh per candidate in government-run medical schools but subsidizes the education by 98%. How do private colleges run institutes without fees? We will have to shut down our institutes," said Kadam.