The Supreme Court of India on Friday has temporarily suspended the reservation of seats for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) students for admission into MBBS course in Assam.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Adiz Zaman, reports said. Adiz Zaman had challenged the NRI quota arrangement that required a substantial payment of Rs 18 lakh per seat for reservation. The order halts the NRI quota until further deliberation. The PIL also questioned whether this move could potentially create a disparity in access to medical education based on economic status rather than merit.
Notably, in the cabinet meeting of the Assam Government held in the month of June this year, a proposal was made to reserve 10 percent seats in MBBS course in state medical colleges for NRI or NRI-sponsored students who have cleared NEET-UG examination.
The government had framed the rules and amended the Medical Colleges and Dental Colleges of Assam (Regulations of Admission into 1st Year MBBS or BDS Courses) Rules, 2017, and framed its amended version for 2023.
Initially, the Assam government defended its decision citing the need to adapt admission rules due to the increase in the number of medical seats in the state.