Low score, pay more! NEET UG, PG tail-enders bag seats through NRI quota

NEET UG, PG counselling data shows candidates who barely made the cut-off list are paying their way into MD, MBBS seats through NRI quota.

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NEET 2024: Medical colleges admit students with very low NTA NEET scores through NRI quota (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)NEET 2024: Medical colleges admit students with very low NTA NEET scores through NRI quota (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Team Careers360 | November 24, 2023 | 03:28 PM IST

By Ruchika Chauhan and Rajyashree Dutta

NEW DELHI: A low score in National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) need not be a hurdle in the road to an MBBS seat, if you have money. Medical aspirants who couldn’t manage to champion the all-India medical entrance test and could barely make the NEET cut-off list this year have still secured medical seats through the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) category with large reserves of dollars. Many candidates, with ranks in seven digits and rock-bottom scores, are bagging NRI seats either by changing their nationality from Indian to NRI status or getting hold of NRI sponsors and paying hefty amounts.

Candidates with ranks as low as 1140873 and 1136550 have secured admission in MBBS at medical colleges like JSS Medical College, Mysuru and KS Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, Karnataka, respectively through the NRI quota. NRI candidates paid between 12% and 245% more than the management quota candidates as fees.

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Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the NEET UG is a highly-competitive exam but only for those who aim for a seat in a government medical college where education is subsidised or in government seats in private medical colleges. As the 2023 data shows, for NRI seats, medical colleges drop standards.

Careers360 analysed the closing ranks, NEET cut-offs and corresponding fees of 30 deemed universities across India who are offering undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses. These institutions offer only two kinds of seats – management and NRI – and neither is government-subsidised.

The NEET cut-off or closing rank is the lowest rank at which admission was granted in a college for a section of seats.

Also Read | NEET UG 2024 registration from January; MBBS cut-off for government medical colleges

NEET UG cut-offs, candidates

In 2023, the NTA NEET was conducted on May 7. The tentative NEET 2024 exam date is May 5, 2024.

This year, a total of 20,87,462 candidates registered for the exam of whom 20,38,596 candidates appeared and 11,45,976 qualified.

NEET UG 2023 exam numbers

Category

Appeared

Qualified

OBC

8,73,173

5,25,194

SC

2,94,995

1,53,674

ST

1,26,121

56,381

Gen

5,92,110

3,12,405

EWS

1,52,197

98,322

Total

20,38,596

11,45,976

(EWS: Economically Weaker Section, OBC: Other Backward Classes, SC: Scheduled Caste, ST: Scheduled Tribe, Gen: Unreserved)

The NEET exam paper carries a total score of 720 marks. At the time of declaring the NEET result, the NTA states the qualifying cut-off scores for each category of candidates. This is the minimum score required to participate in NEET counselling, the process of assigning a seat to a candidate.

NEET UG counselling for seats in national institutions, deemed-to-be universities and 15% government seats in state medical colleges – collectively forming the “all-India quota” – is conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services’ (DGHS) Medical Counselling Committee (MCC).

The NEET qualifying cut-offs are lower for historically-marginalised students from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

NEET UG cut-offs

Category

Qualifying criteria

NEET cut-off 2023

UR/EWS

50th Percentile

720-137

OBC

40th Percentile

136-107

SC

40th Percentile

136-107

ST

40th Percentile

136-107

UR / EWS & PH

45th Percentile

136-121

OBC & PH

40th Percentile

120-107

SC & PH

40th Percentile

120-107

ST & PH

40th Percentile

120-108

(UR: Unreserved, PH: Physically Handicapped)

Under the NRI quota, Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and foreign nationals are eligible for admission. The seats are also open to students residing in India but have NRI first-degree relatives who can sponsor their education. In case there’s no parent or relative, a guardian residing outside India is also considered.

Also Read | NEET UG 2024: NMC revises eligibility criteria; allows biology as additional subject in Class 12

NEET NRI seats: A shortcut?

In BV Deemed University Medical College and Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra, a candidate with a NEET rank of 1110592 and a NEET score of just 121 managed to secure an NRI seat with an annual fee of Rs 72,56,200, which is more than triple the amount charged for a management quota slot. The management quota seats in the college had closed its admission on a rank of 504213 at an annual fee of Rs 21,02,835.

Similar is the case of Amrita School of Medicine, Faridabad. The medical college in Haryana that charged an annual fee of Rs 19,00,000 for its management quota seats – and closed admissions on rank 200776 – offered admission to a candidate with a rank as low as 8,60,715 in the NRI category. The annual fee of the NRI seat was Rs 37,80,000.

Even in Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, which maintains a National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rank of 9, charged its last candidate in the NRI category Rs 41,49,600 that cost Rs 17,80,000 under management quota. The closing ranks for the categories were 51200 and 521687 respectively.

NIRF is a ranking system adopted by the union ministry of education to rank higher education institutions in India.

NEET UG Ranks and Fees: Management Vs NRI

Institute

Closing Rank

Fee (in INR)


Management

NRI

Management

NRI

Datta Meghe Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra

589644

1184532

20,25,000

22,68,000

B.L.D.E University, Bijapur, Karnataka

343362

929566

18,00,000

25,00,000

JLN Medical College, Datta Meghe, Wardha, Maharashtra

577151

1094767

23,00,000

26,88,000

KS Hegde Medical Academy, Mangaluru, Karnataka

224277

1136550

17,50,000

28,00,000

MM Institute Medical and Research, Mullana, Haryana

355560

882509

17,00,000

29,86,704

Jagadguru Gangadhar Mahaswamigalu Moorusavirmath Medical College, Hubballi, Karnataka

218005

1021612

16,40,000

33,60,000

Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka

362074

1153406

22,00,000

34,44,000

Dr DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pune., Maharashtra

547267

1217049

26,50,000

36,54,000

Amrita School of Medicine, Faridabad, Haryana

200776

860715

19,00,000

37,80,000

GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

1203593

1132339

25,37,000

37,80,000

SDU Medical College, Kolar, Karnataka

293058

1130988

17,60,000

37,96,800

Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi, Karnataka

179229

1127207

18,30,000

38,22,000

JSS Medical College, Mysuru, Karnataka

174229

1140873

18,50,000

38,64,000

Sri Siddhartha Medical College DU, Tumkur, Karnataka

431784

1206440

17,75,000

40,00,000

Dr. DY Patil Medical College, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

564598

1128776

25,75,000

41,16,000

Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Univ., Manipal, Karnataka

51200

521687

17,80,000

41,49,600

Santosh Medical College and Hospital, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

759984

805284

24,00,000

42,00,000

Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

273827

1010813

18,50,000

42,00,000

Krishna Institute of Medical Science, Karad, Maharashtra

467886

1190971

20,87,000

42,00,000

Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

300628

1215544

19,60,000

42,00,000

Sri Siddhartha Academy T Begur, Karnataka

592791

1163529

17,75,000

43,25,832

Mahatma Gandhi Mission Medical College, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

306764

762575

21,00,000

46,14,792

MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

257540

952711

21,00,000

46,14,792

Raja Rajeswari Medical College Bengaluru, Karnataka

486472

977521

23,00,000

46,20,000

Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

270532

1022266

25,00,000

47,88,000

Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

1221896

955322

25,50,000

50,40,000

Bharati Vidyapeeth DU Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra

325219

996865

22,40,170

72,56,200

BV Deemed University Medical College and Hospital., Sangli, Maharashtra

504213

1110592

21,02,835

72,56,200

(All NRI fee figures converted from dollar to INR)

NEET PG Counselling: Similar trend

The situation is grimmer when it comes to NEET PG seats, with the fee for NRI seats running into crores. For the ease of comparison, Careers360 has taken only MD Radio Diagnosis seats under consideration.

In Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Rural Medical College, Loni, Maharashtra, the last NRI seat was filled by rank of 113593 for Rs 1,46,33,600, while the last management seat in the college was filled by rank 15005 with an annual fee of Rs 30,00,000.

While the closing rank for management seats in Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, this year was 6,6,660 with an annual fee of Rs 76,00,000 The same for NRI seats was 102746 at a fee of Rs 1,40,00,000 – close to double the cost of a management seat.

NEET PG Counselling: Management, NRI seats

Institute

Management

NRI

Fee in INR

Closing rank

Fee in INR

Closing rank

Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Univ., Manipal, Karnataka

33,98,000

5534

64,16,000

32022

Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

33,98,000

7312

64,16,000

34645

Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai

27,00,000

7086

60,00,000

48786

Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Kanchipuram

40,00,000

26315

56,00,000

52779

Shri B M Patil Medical College, Vijayapur

35,00,000

22121

50,00,000

57085

Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pondicherry

48,00,000

37189

60,00,000

61385

Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

23,00,000

8102

67,20,000

62028

Amrita School of Medicine, Kochi

35,00,000

10059

64,00,000

67628

K.S Hegde Medical Academy, Mangaluru, Karnataka

29,80,000

13481

71,80,000

67904

Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

30,00,000

15916

65,20,000

68947

JSS Medical College, Mysuru, Karnataka

32,00,000

10470

78,85,000

71210

SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Chennai

45,00,000

25636

72,00,000

74009

Mahatma Gandhi Mission Medical College, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

35,00,000

16166

73,25,040

79001

MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

35,00,000

17589

73,25,040

79100

Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Kolhapur

39,35,000

33628

61,60,000

79900

Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore

40,00,000

26657

96,00,000

89865

Smt B K Shah Medical Institute and Research Center, Vadodara

35,00,000

20595

68,00,000

98509

Vinayaka Mission's Kirupananda Variyar Medical College and Hospitals, Salem

42,00,000

29329

60,00,000

98924

Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad

76,00,000

66660

1,40,00,000

102746

Meenakshi Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Kanchipuram

50,00,000

44219

61,60,000

106785

Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram

48,00,000

42618

60,00,000

106922

Vinayaka Missions Medical College and Hospital, Karaikal

42,00,000

37471

58,66,700

112543

Dr. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil Rural Medical College, Loni

30,00,000

15005

1,46,33,600

113593

Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur

31,50,000

22504

1,00,00,000

120235

Raja Rajeshwari Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore

60,00,000

50770

88,00,000

126316

Sri Devaraj URS Medical College, Kolar

35,20,000

35155

91,20,000

131478

Dr DY Patil Medical College, Navi Mumbai Medical College, Navi Mumbai

67,50,000

39835

1,04,00,000

131848

(All NRI fee figures converted from dollar to INR)

In September, the MCC, under instructions from the ministry of health, dropped the NEET PG cut-off to zero after weeks of campaigning by private deemed-universities to do so. This, in effect, allowed anyone who wrote NEET PG to participate in counselling making money the only selection factor for a large number of seats. Their seats were going vacant even after several rounds of NEET PG counselling, more due to the prohibitively high fees than shortage of applicants. Many doctors, including the former head of the Indian Medical Association pointed this out and argued that the drop in cut-off spelled the “death of merit” in medical education.

NEET UG: NRI seats and reservation

While the vast majority of NEET UG candidates to grab NRI seats are from unreserved categories, there are some reserved category candidates who managed to secure NRI seats with hefty sums of money.

In Dr DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pune, the last NRI seat for MBBS was filled by an OBC candidate with a rank of 1217049 and a score of 107. The annual fee paid for the particular seat was Rs 36,54,000. This year, 107 was the minimum cut-off needed for SC and OBC candidates to be able to participate in NEET counselling.

At Sri Siddhartha Medical College DU, Tumkur, Karnataka, an SC candidate at rank 1206440 secured admission through NRI quota, paying Rs 40,00,000, which was more than double the last management quota seat fee. The last management seat was secured by rank 431784 with an annual fee of Rs 17,75,000.

In all, seven candidates from the reserved categories bagged NRI seats in different MBBS colleges – six from the OBC category and one from the SC category.

While Careers360 was not able to determine how the NRI candidates paid the astronomical fees, it is pertinent to mention that to avail the benefits of OBC reservation, candidates must belong to the “non-creamy layer” of the community, or those with an annual income below Rs 8 lakh.

To add to this, there is a provision for candidates to shift to the NRI category. Many moved to change their nationality and shift from Indian to NRI status since NEET registration for counselling began. The National Medical Council (NMC) had to comply with the Supreme Court ruling in 2017 that said a candidate can change their nationality at any point of time.

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