Punjab and Haryana High Court’s verdict upholding the decision of Punjab government to narrow down the NRI category in medical college admissions is likely to have an impact on the petitions challenging a Sector-32 Government Medical College and Hospital’s decision to confine the NRI quota to only those candidates whose parents or grandparents – in case the parent is not alive- are living outside at the time of admissions.
On June 21, a division bench of the HC had allowed a candidate, whose paternal aunt is an NRI, to take part in the admission process on a provisional basis at GMCH-32. Another candidate was allowed to provisionally take part in the admission process under similar terms this week on orders of the High Court. The cases are now scheduled for hearing next week.
The division bench of Justices Harinder Singh Sidhu and Arun Monga in Punjab’s case Wednesday said the purpose of restricting the admission in medical colleges under NRI quota to only an NRI or children of NRI by the state is to give “weight only to the genuine cases” where the children of those parents who have migrated to other countries want to get the benefit of education in their native country. Terming it a reasonable decision, the court said it was open for the state government to make any policy with regard to the residents and “no interference is warranted” by the court in policymaking.
However, the decision to exclude the close relatives – other than own children, of the NRIs by the GMCH-32 has also been challenged on a ground that the guidelines run contrary to the instructions issued by Panjab University to which the college is affiliated. An official in the administration conceded that while the decision in Punjab’s case could turn the case in their favour, the question of Panjab University guidelines will also come in question.
“There is uniformity in medical college admissions of Punjab but the Chandigarh case has a different factor. Under the NRI category for admissions to the BDS Course in the same college, even wards of foreign nationals or first degree relatives like uncles and aunts are eligible to take part in the admission process,” said the official.
As per the prospectus released by GMCH-32 for the 2019 MBBS admissions, the persons of Indian origin who are citizens of other countries or overseas citizens of India or children of persons who have resided in a foreign country for at least three years or in certain cases wards of grandparents living outside for at least three years can apply for the nine seats reserved under Foreign Indian Student category or NRI Category.