Of the 64 non-resident Indian (NRI) candidates who appeared in the Punjab Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMET), only 17 have managed to qualify.
There are 100 MBBS seats reserved for NRIs in medical colleges across the state. In case, there are not sufficient NRI candidates, these seats go to the general pool.
According to sources in Punjab's department of medical education and research, just 25% NRI candidate have qualified the PMET this time. The examination, conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, was held in May. Last year, only three NRI candidates could qualify the pre-medical entrance test.
To increase the NRI student intake in state medical colleges, the Punjab government tweaked the admission policy this year and said in case less number of NRI candidates qualify the PMET, the remaining seats should be filled on the basis of Class-12 marks.
Earlier, it was mandatory for the NRI candidates to qualify the entrance examination to get admissions in state's medical and dental colleges. Punjab, too, was following this practice for the past several years.
The Medical Council of India has come down heavily on Punjab for relaxing admission norms for NRIs. The MCI said if admission of NRIs is done on basis of Class-12 marks, it won't give recognise degrees of such candidates.