Due to shortage of candidates all 23 medical and dental colleges under state are unable to fill Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota MBBS and BDS seats. 284 seats out of 316 seats under the quota are vacant after the first round of counselling. Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) invited applications for the second round of counselling for admission to MBBS and BDS in all medical and dental colleges so as to fill the seats under the quota. Only five candidates have applied so far.
Last year too, 287 NRI quota MBBS and BDS seats in the state had remained vacant of 309 that were on offer. They were merged into the general category.
“The reason for the low number of students opting for NRI quota MBBS and BDS seats is the high tuition fee. In addition, students also have to pay many other expenses during their five-year course, making it hugely expensive,” said Dr Raj Bahadur, BFUHS vice-chancellor.
Eight medical colleges in Punjab offer 140 NRI quota MBBS seats. The number of BDS seats reserved for the NRI candidates in 15 dental colleges in the state are 176. To date, 109 MBBS seats, including 45 seats in three government colleges, and 175 BDS seats in 13 private and two government colleges are vacant. During the first round of counselling for NRI quota seats, 32 of 44 candidates, who applied for the MBBS and BDS seats got admission, while others were declared ineligible.
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“The deadline for the accepting application for admission to MBBS and BDS courses under the NRI quota finished on Monday. We have received only five applications for the second round of counselling. We are waiting for the state government to issue a notification regarding the MBBS and BDS courses admissions. Soon after that date of counselling for the second round of NRI quota seats will be announced,” said Dr Arvind Sharma, registrar, BFUHS.
NRI quota seats are the main source of revenue for the medical and dental colleges. Full course fee for NRI quota MBBS seat is $1.1 lakh (₹77 lakh) in all private and government medical colleges in the state, except Adesh Medical College which has fixed the fee at $1.25 (₹87.5 lakh) The fee for NRI quota BDS seat is $44,000 (₹33 lakh).
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