With only two non-resident Indian (NRI) candidates clearing All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), 2014, the local MBBS aspirants can hope to find more seats in Punjab.
Of the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) seats, 30 in three government colleges of the state are reserved for the NRIs and foreign nationals. The private colleges can reserve up to 15% seats for the expatriates. Sources in the Punjab medical research and education department said that tough entrance examination had resulted in only two NRI candidates qualifying this year.
A senior functionary of the department said that final picture would emerge on July 17 during second counselling at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, when the seats in all reserved categories (NRI, sports, disabled) will be filled. The university conducts counselling for all MBBS and BDS (Bachelor of Dental Science) seats in Punjab, except the slots in Christian Medical College, Ludhiana.
If the NRI seats remain vacant after second counselling, the procedure is to award these on general merit in the government colleges and convert to the management quota in the private medical colleges. The management-quota annual fee in private colleges from the 2014 session will be Rs 6.6 lakh but the NRI candidates pay $1 lakh (about Rs 60 lakh).
With the Medical Council of India (MCI) allowing the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Jalandhar, to induct 150 MBBS students, the total seats in the state have reached 930. However, the council is still to decide on approval to intake 150 at Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, and increase nearly 180 seats in other Punjab colleges.