The government will implement this policy from the coming academic year 2019-2020
Belagavi: The Karnataka government is likely to introduce Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota in all its state-run medical colleges; so that the fees paid by these medical students could be used to patch up the financial conditions of these institutes.
The information was declared at the Karnataka Legislative Council by the Minister for Medical Education D K Shivakumar during the question hour.
In response to a question by SV Sankanur (BJP), the Medical Education Minister stated that the government will implement this policy from the coming academic year 2019-2020. “The move to consider NRI quota in government colleges is a major decision,” he added.
At present, NRI quota seat costs between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 45 lakh in private medical colleges.
In addition to this proposal, the government is also considering increasing increase MBBS course fee from the present Rs 17000 to Rs 50000 and that of PG courses from Rs 50000 to Rs 3 lakhs.
Decisions meet opposition
The students, medical colleges’ authorities as well as medical associations, however, are not quite pleased with the fee hike and the idea of introducing NRI quota. While some find the former proposal a little acceptable, the latter is irrelevant to all.
A senior faculty member from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) shared a concern while speaking to The Indian Express, “Giving admissions under NRI quota at government colleges will do injustice to meritorious students from the state. This will reduce the number of seats at government colleges made available to general category students.”
A member at Indian Medical Association (Junior Doctors’ Association), Karnataka branch, said that while the hike in fees was justified, introducing NRI quota in government colleges was unacceptable, particularly at a time when the institutional quota seats were up for grabs for students from across the country with the introduction of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). “However, hiking fees may be the need of the hour as stipends have increased.”
As per previous years’ data, at least 25 per cent of the medical seats under NRI quota lie vacant. In view of this, a medical aspirant pointed out to The Hindu, that there are already excess NRI and management quota seats in Karnataka in private colleges. “The NRI quota seats go vacant as students are unable to afford them,” he added.
The proposals are aimed to meet the fund requirements of the state-run medical colleges so that the quality of medical education can be enhanced and facilities can be extended to medical college employees. Apparently, the state-run medical colleges were suffering from rough financial situations which were bothering the staff at these institutes.
“The government intended to increase the fees to provide the medical colleges with better infrastructure and resources, and to provide staff with facilities like Provident Fund (PF) and pension,” the minister informed the council. The minister implied that this move is to make the government medical institutes capable enough to run themselves.
There are 16 government medical colleges in Karnataka.