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Karnataka asks Centre for NRI quota; wants 500 more MBBS seats

The Karnataka government has requested the Centre to sanction supernumerary MBBS seats in government autonomous medical colleges under the Department of Medical Education from the academic year 2025-26 onwards in order to start NRI quota in medical colleges. Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil said in a statement that he has written to the Chairman of the National Medical Commission (NMC) requesting sanction of 15 per cent NRI quota by creating 508 additional supernumerary MBBS seats for admission in 22 government medical colleges in the state.

“Supernumerary is nothing but creating additional seats over and above the annual sanctioned intake of UG-MBBS seats within the government medical colleges,” the Minister said in a statement.

Justifying the proposal to have NRI quota in government medical colleges, Patil cited UGC guidelines for admission and supernumerary seats of international students in UG and PG programmes and National Education Policy 2020 that emphasised the intake of international students in Indian higher educational institutions for global outreach.

The minister also referred to the example of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry that provide seven to 15 pee cent quota for NRI students in government medical colleges charging over USD 75,000 to USD 100,000 for five-year course whereas in Karnataka only private medical colleges are allowed to take NRI students who pay Rs 1 crore to Rs 2.5 crore.

Patil pointed out that the government veterinary, agriculture and horticulture universities in Karnataka have 15 per cent NRI quota and these are above the sanctioned intake and higher fees collected help these universities provide better facilities and quality education.

He also said autonomous medical institutions in the state face shortage of funds despite budgetary allocation, fees from students, Central and state grants and other donations.

Patil contended that in order to make these institutions centres of excellence, additional funds are necessary for quality education, training, maintenance, purchase of medical equipment, drugs, handling patient load, improving infrastructure, faculty strength and research.

Creating NRI quota within the available annual intake of seats is not feasible, he said and expressed apprehension that disturbing the existing intake will create fewer seats for the poor and underprivileged, also triggering protests from students and parents.

The minister has proposed that an annual fee of Rs 25 lakh per student can be fixed which would generate Rs 127 crore for the medical education department for the first year and Rs 571.5 crore from the fifth year onwards.

“I am confident that the Centre would accede to the State’s demand to sanction 15 per cent NRI quota by creating supernumerary MBBS seats and enable the state to start NRI quota in government medical colleges from the academic year 2025-26,” he added.

Patil said there are 22 government medical colleges under the Department of Medical Education having intake capacity of 3,450 seats for the year 2023-24 out of which 85 per cent comprising 2,929 seats was Karnataka quota and 521 seats (15 per cent) was all-India quota. PTI

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