A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) student has petitioned the Kerala High Court on finding that only seats in NRI quota in deemed universities were made available to him for exercising choices in the centralized medical counseling held for deemed universities, regardless of his merit.
From this year onwards, admission to all seats in private colleges and deemed universities are held on the basis of ranking secured in NEET Examination, and centralized counseling held by Medical Counseling Committee. This is done as per the directives of the Supreme Court. The petitioner points out that in centralized counseling held for deemed universities, he can exercise choices online only over the seats in NRI quota in deemed universities. At the same time, in the counseling for 15% seats in All India Quota in government medical colleges, all seats are made available to the petitioner, regardless of his NRI status.
According to the petitioner, there is no restriction for an NRI student to seek admission in management quota in deemed universities. He points out that Clause 3(e) of Chapter 3 of NEET Guidelines issued by CBSE states that Indian Nationals, Non Resident Indians(NRIs), Oversees Citizen of India(OCIs), Persons of Indian Origin(PIO) and Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear for NEET(UG)-2017. As per this clause, the petitioner, who is an NRI, is eligible to appear for NEET. Clause 2(a) of Chapter 3 of Guidelines states that NRIs are eligible for seats under the control of States, Universities etc, necessarily implying that NRI candidates are eligible to all seats under deemed universities as well.
The petitioner further contends that the restriction arose because he did not furnish his Aadhaar number while registering for NEET. The candidates had to compulsorily furnish their Aadhaar number for registering for NEET. But there was an exemption for NRI candidates from furnishing Aaddhaar number, and they only had to give their passport number. Since the petitioner is a non-resident, he has no entitlement to get Aadhaar, and hence he registered by giving passport number. Registering with passport number has resulted in the online system of centralized counseling treating the petitioner as an NRI candidate eligible only for NRI quota.
According to petitioner, this is an anomaly. He further contends that this amounts to illegal discrimination and unreasonable classification. There is no rationale in denying open quota seats to NRI candidates. He attempts to point out the fallacy of the counseling scheme by stating that even if an NRI candidates secures first rank in NEET and if he wants to take admission in a deemed university, he will have to take admission in NRI quota in deemed universities.
The Court has directed Director General of Health Services and MCC to get instructions on the matter.