Domicile Status or Minority Status?
KOCHI :No final decision has yet been taken on whether Kerala domicile rules will be applicable or not to private minority medical institutions in the state from this academic year. A broad consensus of preference has been expressed by a few private minority medical institutions for Kerala domicile rules not being applicable for their colleges, with NEET’s implementation. In other words, they should be allowed to select students from all across the country based on NEET, just like other minority institutions like CMC.
If this happens, then minority medical colleges would be able to select all India students from NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) with 35% management and 15% NRI quota seats, if they so desire. Colleges are yet to decide between the choice of state domicile or minority quota.
“With NEET being the qualifying exam, we can either take students exclusively from Kerala or from across India for 50% seats. Our decision will depend on the agreement that we enter with the state government,” Kerala Private Medical College Management Association (KPMCA), President, Fazal Ghafoor said.
The matter was discussed at a meeting held on Tuesday between the minority institutions and the state government for seat sharing and fee structure. The minority colleges present at the meeting pointed to the fact that they like minority medical institutions- Vellore Christian Medical College and Bengaluru St John’s Medical College, also had the freedom to select students from across India.
Reiterating domicile no longer remained applicable to Kerala’s minority medical institutions, KPMCA, Secretary, Anilkumar Vallil said, “”So far, we used to admit students of Kerala domicile as only these candidates could appear for medical entrance exam conducted by the state government. But now with NEET being the qualifying exam, domicile is no more applicable for us.”
Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary (health), in his rejoinder on the issue of domicile also said that with the implementation of NEET, domicile is no longer applicable for minority medical institutions.
15 of the 21 private medical colleges in the state are minority institutions.
The Tuesday meeting was not attended by – Kannur Medical College, Karuna Medical College and KMCT Medical College. In an interesting development, the four Christian management colleges, which entered into a three-year agreement on fees and seat sharing with the government last year, have decided to admit Kerala domicile students only. This was made clear by their representatives at the meeting.
A demand for cancellation of the three year agreement between the government and four Christian colleges was also raised at the meeting. It was raised keeping in view implementation of a uniform fee structure; with a 10% seat reservation for the poor.
“They wanted a uniform fee structure for all seats, with 10% seats reserved for poor students, or a differential fee structure with substantial high fees for management and NRI seats,” said Rajiv Sadanandan.
According to sources the government would be calling another meeting of private minority medical institutions after seeking legal opinion on domicile, seat sharing and fee structure.