It seems that the Punjab Government’s hope for a relaxation in the eligibility for the NRI MBBS quota aspirants has faded away. Earlier, the government had approached the Medical Council of Medical (MCI) to cut down the minimum criteria from 50 per cent to 45 per cent marks in the entrance test, but the MCI bluntly stated that “ there is no scope of deviation” from its regulations.
On the flip side, the MCI’s decision has brought some relief to the general category students as approximately 94 vacant seats will be effectively converted to this category. As per the prospectus of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, only three NRI quota seats have found the requisite takers.
In a response to a petition effectively seeking lowering of the standard criteria for NRI candidates in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the MCI clarified that any admission concerning NRI quota of any medical college has to be in accordance with the provisions of its Graduate Medical Educations Regulations, 1997. And as per the condition, “Such candidates seeking admission in MBBS course under the NRI quota of a medical college are obliged to secure 50 per cent marks in the combined entrance test conducted by an admitting authority for being eligible to be admitted in a medical course”. In the above case, the test indicates the All India Pre Medical TEST (AIPMT).
It is worth mentioning that the petition challenges the Punjab Government’s notification on March 07 that laid down the rules for MBBS and BDS admission, On July 09, the government requested the MCI to loosen up on the criteria for the NRI quota after there were only three eligible NRI candidates who could score more than 50 per cent. However, the MCI informed the court on Thursday that the council’s regulations, are as held by the Supreme Court and in a number of cases statutory, mandatory and binding in nature.
In its reply, the MCI confirmed that Akanksha Sharma, the petitioner, is seeking reliefs which are contrary to the statutory regulations and so she is not entitled to any relief. The case will be further up for hearing on August 255.