Karnataka: DME's request for NRI quota in gov't medical colleges receives mixed reactions

As per sources, in 2018, the proposal was opposed and in 2023 as well, seats were not sanctioned. However, the DME has been keen on introducing the NRI quota to mobilise funds for government medical colleges
Karnataka: DME's request for NRI quota in gov't medical colleges receives mixed reactions

Recently Karnataka's Directorate of Medical Education (DME) wrote to the National Medical Commission (NMC) proposing the introduction of the NRI (Non-Resident of India) quota in the government medical colleges. Soon after this announcement was made, All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO), a student organisation in India, expressed criticism. 

In a statement issued by the organisation's Office Secretary Mahantesh B, he said this step will, "open the floodgates for privatisation in government medical colleges and hence AIDSO opposes this move vehemently". 

Notably, this is not the first time the DME has proposed to introduce the NRI quota. As per sources, in 2018, the proposal was opposed and in 2023 as well, seats were not sanctioned. However, the DME has been keen on introducing the NRI quota to mobilise funds for government medical colleges. 

Why NRI quota?

In medical expert Dr Sachidananda Sarvajanamurthy's opinion, "All government colleges are autonomous in nature and self-reliant. Therefore the NRI quota will raise funds for the functioning and betterment of colleges. Otherwise, it will be a burden on the government as the plan is to increase the number of government colleges." 

The NRI quota has been another route/pathway for medical aspirants who couldn't secure a seat through the National Eligibility Entrance Exam (NEET) scores. For seats under this quota, hefty fees of more than Rs 15 lakh is charged as against a fee of thousands for those who qualify for NEET.   

In their statement, AIDSO pointed out that this quota will "lend a green signal to further increase fee in these colleges and curtail seats to poor meritorious students of the state". Further, AIDSO believes that the NRI quota is a direct attack on democratic education and will create disparity on campus. 

Concern raised by the organisation is that the poor will not be able to pursue medical education and this move will not create able doctors. 

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