NEET 2021: Supreme Court allows OCI candidates to appear counselling under general category

OCI candidates will now be able to appear for counselling for all open category medical seats for the academic year 2021-22 at par with Indian citizens, instead of confining them to seats/ quota for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) students.

The Supreme Court on Thursday passed an order, which will allow Overseas Citizens of India(OCI) candidates to participate in the NEET-UG 2021 counselling in the general categoryThe court order comes in response to a petition filed by OCI candidates challenging a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to treat them at par with Non-Resident Indians(NRIs) for the purpose of college admissions.

As per a report by Bar and Bench, the court ordered, “We are of the view that at least for this academic year 2021-2022 petitioners are entitled to be considered for admission to all medical seats where OCIs were eligible (earlier). This interim order is confined to 2021-22.”

“Therefore we direct the NTA to declare the result of the examination taken by the petitioners and the eligible petitioners are permitted to appear for the counselling in the general category. This order is confined to the academic year 2021-2022,” the bench said.

The plea pointed out that OCIs like petitioners have undergone many years of schooling in India, and their families live and work in India.

Despite the same, they are not allowed to compete with the general pool of candidates and are forced to compete for a very small number of seats earmarked for NRIs.

This would mean that they would also have to pay exorbitant admission fees that accompany the NRI quota seats, which they cannot afford unlike NRIs whose families are living and working in the global west and have more access to financial resources, the plea said.

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