The Supreme Court on August 26 has temporarily suspended the implementation of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota for MBBS admissions in Assam. The decision comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Adiz Zaman, raising concerns over the reservation of medical seats for NRIs at a cost of Rs 18 lakh per seat. The Supreme Court's order puts a halt to the NRI quota until further deliberation.
The Assam government had introduced a groundbreaking measure on June 2023, announcing a 10 percent reservation of seats in MBBS courses for NRI students in medical colleges across the state. However, the move quickly garnered attention and led to a legal intervention. Advocate Adiz Zaman's PIL specifically challenged the NRI quota arrangement that required a substantial payment of Rs 18 lakh per seat for reservation.
The state government had defended its decision, citing the need to adapt admission rules due to an increase in medical seats within Assam. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in response to the mounting capacity, revealed that amendments were made to the rules for MBBS and BDS course admissions in the state.
Under the proposed NRI quota scheme, 10 percent of the total remaining MBBS seats, following the deduction of quotas such as the 15 percent All India Quota, Central Poll, and Northeastern Council quota, were earmarked for NRI and NRI-sponsored students. Chief Minister Sarma underscored the importance of maintaining the requisite academic qualifications, noting that candidates seeking admission through the NRI quota must clear the NEET UG examination.
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