Non-resident Indian (NRI) students are upset at the notification issued by the Punjab government on June 5, making admission to MBBS and BDS courses in colleges of the state based on the percentile merit obtained in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
The notification had made NRI students, who earlier had the privilege of admission without appearing in any entrance test for the 15% seats reserved for them in state, ineligible as the notification was issued after the conduct of the test.
The test was conducted nationwide by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on May 5. Most of the NRI students did not appear in it as per previous provisions.
On June 5, vide the notification, the state government had declared NEET as the basis of admission for NRI students also. On June 15, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) had also given an advertisement for admission with the same conditions.
"The dictatorial orders rendered all NRI students ineligible for admission to colleges of the state as all NRI-quota students were exempted earlier from this test. Moreover, the last date for filling admission forms for NEET was December 31, 2012. This whole mess would certainly affect prospects of students," said Rajwinder Singh, a parent.
"Even in the NEET advertisement, no such clause was mentioned. It should have been conveyed publicly to avoid any misunderstanding, but the government failed to do so," said Mehtab Singh, another parent.
The parents had moved their representations to the NRI Sabha, seeking the latter's intervention and reversal of this notification.
Speaking to HT, NRI Sabha Punjab president Jasvir Singh Gill said, "We have received complaints from parents and it appears that injustice had been done with NRI students. We have written to the medical education and research minister Chunni Lal Bhagat and NRI affairs minister Bikram Singh Majithia for their immediate attention to this issue; otherwise, NRI students would be forced to study in colleges outside Punjab."
When contacted, Dr Shawinder Singh Gill, BFUHS vice-chancellor, said, "The university is concerned about the future of NRI students. We are taking up this matter with the state government. Hopefully, the government would amend the notification to ensure admissions of NRI students."