The local MBBS aspirants of Punjab can now hope to find more seats in the medical courses as only two Non Resident Indian (NRI) students were able to clear the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT), 2014.
It is worth mentioning that of the total MBBS seats, 30 in three government colleges of the state are reserved for the NRI s and foreign nationals. The private colleges have also been granted the permission to reserve 15 per cent of their seats for the expatriates. However, sources in the Punjab medical research and education department confirmed that only two NRI candidates qualified this year, owing to a tough entrance exam.
A senior functionary of the department said that the final picture will be clear only during the second round of counselling, scheduled to be held on July 17 at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, when the reserved seats in all the categories (NRI, sports, disabled) will be filled. The University conducts counselling for all the MBBS and Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) seats in Punjab, excluding the slots in Christian Medical College, Ludhiana.
Vacancies in the NRI seats after the second round of counselling will mean that the slots will be awarded on general merit in the government colleges and then converted to the management quota in the private medical colleges. The annual fee of the management quota in the private colleges has been fixed at INR 6.6 lakhs, but the NRI candidates pay around $ 1lakh.
A recent approval by the Medical Council of India (MCI) allowed the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to increase its intake of seats by 150, thereby the total seats in the state reaching up to a total of 930. However, the Council is yet to give its nod to intake 150 at Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot.