Several NRI students who had taken admission to various private medical colleges for the academic year 2016-17 based on their Intermediate (10+2) and the required merit in the NRI category were later denied admission and were asked to undertake the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The students are extremely tensed as the future seems uncertain since the Telangana and the Andhra Pradesh High Court have asked colleges to consider the admission to MBBS courses only on the basis of NEET score.
A group of such affected students have decided to approach the Supreme Court enquiring whether NEET regulations are pertinent in admissions in the NRI quota seats in non-government aided private colleges or not. The students have contested the order passed in September 2016 by the high court that had dismissed their prayer for direction to unassisted private colleges in the state to give them admission under the NRI quota.
It was contended in the plea that “applying NEET regulations on admissions to NRI quota seats in unaided private medical colleges is contrary to the law laid down by the Constitution bench of seven Hon’ble judges of this Hon’ble court in the case of P.A. Inamdar v State of Maharashtra (2005)”.
The Supreme Court had agreed to examine the matter. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had posted the matter for hearing on 30 January, 2017, reports Live Law.
Private medical colleges were allowed to admit foreign/NRI students upto a maximum of 15% of the total seats in every academic year. Until 2015, NRI/foreign students were not required to sit for any specific entrance test. In a setback, the Karnataka high court last year, upheld the circular issued by the Medical Council of India and asked colleges to admit students on the basis of NEET score only.
The applicants have pointed out that NRI students are a separate and a diverse group that cannot be clubbed together with Indian students. They come from different countries and hence their course and curriculum is entirely different. Also it is extremely burdensome for students to travel to India only to take the NEET exam, go back and then come again to take their admission when they qualify. Making the NEET score mandatory for NRIs also violates the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution by treating un-equals as equals.
The decision by the bench is now eagerly awaited by thousands of medical aspirants belonging to the NRI community hoping to get the matter fixed without losing a precious academic year.