15% seats to be reserved for all India students in private medical colleges from this year

KOCHI: About 7,300 students from other states have applied for admission to private medical colleges in Kerala. State government has decided to allot 15 % seats as all India merit seats from this academic year in the private medical colleges. With this, the outside state students will now make it to the Kerala medical rank list based on NEET score, set to be released by the Commissioner of entrance exams (CEE) soon.

“The self-financing medical colleges have 15 % NRI quota. That will remain as it is. From this academic year, 15 % of the remaining 85 % seats will be allotted to any student outside the state who makes it to the merit list. Some of the students have already opted for admission in private medical colleges here,” said principal health secretary, Dr Rajan N Khobragade.

All this years, only government medical colleges had all India merit seats. Till date, nativity and permanent residence in Kerala was an essential eligibility while applying to MBBS admission, especially in the self-financing colleges. In effect, all private medical seats were reserved for Keralite students for the MBBS course.

There are 2,150 MBBS seats available in 18 private medical colleges. The fee structure approved by the fee regulatory committee and state government for these colleges is from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh per year. The fees for students from outside the state, will be same as that charged from Kerala native students.

“As per the Supreme Court order we opened admissions to candidates from other states in the private medical colleges and have accepted 7300 applications,” said CEE Geetha A.

The Supreme Court had recently issued an order to open the facility of online submission of applications for admission in private medical colleges here irrespective of their domicile status up to May 20 to enable students outside Kerala to register.

Experts said that the decision has its positives and negatives. On the positive side it means national integration in the campuses, as it becomes more vibrant with little space for local politics. But on the flip side, the number of seats from Kerala students may further reduce.

“From the management side, this is clearly a long-term survival plan. Say tomorrow just like engineering, the demand for medicine goes down in Kerala, then admitting students from other states will act as a buffer. As the fees in Kerala is less, students from other states will also opt for it. Also, doctor to patient ratio in Kerala is very high here as compared to other states. Now students from other states can come here, study and return to practice in their home state, bringing in more balance at the national level,” said Dr Fazal Ghafoor, president, Muslim Educational Society.

Kerala Private Medical College Management Association (KPMCMA) (who petitioned the court) said that this will ensure that they get quality students in their colleges. “With examination on an all-India basis, it is good that now finally allotment will also be on an all-India basis,” said KPMCMA secretary Anilkumar Vallil.

“This will increase the diversity of student population and help in integration of cultures and help us to have a true all India stature. Our aim is to become one among the best medical colleges in the private sector by 2025,” said Dr Azad Moopen , founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare.

Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) vice-chancellor MKC Nair said that this is just the beginning of the change that is set to come in medical education. “This will have a chain reaction and many more private medical colleges from other states will approach the SC to allow them to admit students from other states,” he said.