Only four bona fide students have applied for postgraduate medical courses under the NRI quota, which costs close to INR50 lakh (1,00,906SGD) a year in many private colleges. Private colleges across the state have a total of 60 NRI quota seats, whose high fees are expected to be used to cross-subsidise merit seats.
This year, the Indian Union Health Ministry has done away with the sponsor system for NRI quota seats. Earlier, India-based medical aspirants could get admission under the 15% quota if they were sponsored by an NRI. Now, the Centre’s medical counselling committee has stated that only NRI students (including OCIs and PIOs) are eligible for the quota and Indian nationals will be eligible for management seats only.
Already, 24 Indian students from the management quota have opted to pay higher fees under the NRI category, largely for the radiology and paediatric courses. A college can now charge NRI quota students up to five times the fees of merit students while management quota students can be charged up to three times. Private colleges in the state have 400 seats, including 60 NRI seats.
For instance, annual fees for merit students in K J Somaiya Medical College’s PG course is INR8.2 lakh (16,578SGD) and for NRI candidates it is INR 41 lakh (82,738SGD). Similarly, the fees at NKP Salve College for merit students joining MD is INR 8 lakh (16,174SGD) and for NRI students it is INR40 (80,870SGD) lakh.
Private colleges have been demanding NRI fee scale for management seats too. To press for their demand, private colleges are not admitting students across their campuses.
In a recent circular, the FRA informed medical colleges that fees for NRI seats and for the institution quota must be declared before admissions start.
Last year, while medical colleges had charged three times the fee of merit quota to those seeking admission under the institution quota and five times of state quota fees to NRI candidates. But many colleges’ balance sheets show that students have been given admission on ad-hoc fees.