The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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MBBS quota enters state

Calcutta, July 9: The state government has for the first time introduced an MBBS admission quota for non-resident Indian (NRI) students, students sponsored by NRIs and foreign students.

“This category of students will have to pay $2,100 half-yearly. This means they will have to pay about Rs 10 lakh in the four-and-a-half years it takes to complete the course. But this quota system will come into effect only if the Medical Council of India allows us to increase our medical seats. We will not disturb the existing 905 medical seats in the state,” health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra said.

This category of students will not have to come through the joint entrance examinations. “These students will have to score 50 per cent and above in the science group and will have to appear for an admission test as well,” the minister said.

A section of officials in the health department interprets this as the introduction of capitation fee. “The government’s decision on NRI, NRI-sponsored and foreign students implies that if a student from Calcutta can have himself sponsored by an NRI, he will not have to go through the joint entrance,” said an official.

Announcing the scheme under which meritorious students like Iti Baidya will be helped, the minister said 10 per cent seats would be reserved for “poor but meritorious students” who will get tuition fee exemption. Another 10 per cent will be reserved for “meritorious students but economically weak” for whom the tuition fee will be halved.

Referring to the Murshidabad child death controversy, the minister said influenza had started taking a toll at least a month before it was first brought to the notice of the authorities on June 2.

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