New Delhi: The Medical Council Of India seems to have set all speculation at rest, regarding its authority in relation to declaring OCIs and PIOs as belonging to the NRI category. This it has done by telling the Supreme Court that there is no specific provision under its own regulations to deal with the question. It has further added that every state government had its own laws for providing seat reservations for MBBS courses and defining the NRI category.
The apex medical regulator endorsed provisions of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulations of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, as amended in 2017, whereby OCI and PIO category is to be treated as the NRI category.
A group of OCIs led by Shreya Joshi and others, however, have challenged the Karnataka regulations for not allowing them to compete for 85% state quota seats for admission to MBBS and other professional courses, through the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET). They said that PIOs and OCIs could not be treated as falling within the Non-resident Indian category.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit’s query regarding the concept of the NRI category had the MCI’s advocate Gaurav Sharma file an affidavit stating that the concept of reserving 15% seats for NRIs was evolved by the Supreme Court in its judgement in the P A Inamdar case (2005).
The Graduate Medical Education Regulator, 1997, however, states that all admissions to the MBBS course within the respective categories, including NRI students, have to be solely on the basis of marks obtained in the NEET.
“However, the reservation of seats for NRIs and the question as to who will be treated as NRIs and whether it includes OCIs and PIOs will be governed by the state enactment,” MCI added.
The amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, has seen the OCIs claim that they have legal rights to secure admission to other citizens of the country.
Pointing at a notice issued by the union government on July 28, the MCI, for its part stated that the NRI candidates, including OCIs and PIOs, were eligible for NRI quota only. Indian nationals will be eligible for management seats it has further categorically clarified.
The medical regulator urged the court to dismiss the petitions while maintaining that every state government had laws to define NRI, OCI and PIO and their eligibility criteria to seek admission to professional courses reported Deccan Herald.