November 04, 2008

Only genuine NRIs eligible for medical quota: SC

You have to be a genuine NRI to take admission under the NRI quota in medical colleges, said the Supreme Court on Monday frowning at

local Indians side-stepping the requirements to get admitted in MBBS and BDS courses.

As the fees for each NRI quota seat was high, medical colleges were seen blinking at the rule and allowing local Indians to get admitted to NRI quota seats as long as they got NRI sponsorship and paid in greenbacks. The objection of a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam was to local candidates, that is Indian residents, getting a sponsorship from a non-resident Indian and paying the high fees in dollars to get admitted to medical colleges under the NRI quota.

The case pertained to several candidates getting admitted to Uttarakhand Forest Hospital Medical College, Haldwani, under the NRI sponsored quota, which was objected to by the high court. Agreeing with HC’s objection, SC said: "You (the candidates) are not NRIs. You are just willing to pay in dollars. We will not encourage this practice. You have no connection with NRIs except for getting a sponsorship."

It refused to entertain the appeals of the candidates, who were earlier granted provisional admission to the 2008-09 MBBS course before the HC intervened. The HC had dealt with the issue elaborately in its judgment under the head "whether there could be NRI sponsored candidates". It said: "They are pure ordinary resident Indians who get their names sponsored by NRIs, and only on the strength of such sponsorship and by payment of huge sums of money, these simple ordinary resident Indians are being given admission as against other ordinary resident Indians, who do not get their names sponsored by NRIs and who are not in a position to pay huge sums."

As there was a question mark about the legality of NRI sponsored candidates and on the legality of special category of such candidates, the HC had directed initiation of fresh process for filling up of the NRI quota seats. The SC upheld the HC order.

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