The year’s biggest clearance sale is under way. No, it’s not electronic items on Amazon or Flipkart, but medical seats under the NRI and management quota in Karnataka private colleges.
With Thursday being the last day to complete admissions in accordance with the deadline set by the Medical Council of India, these coveted seats, for which candidates would shell out anywhere between ₹22 lakh to ₹41.98 lakh per year, are now being sold at a hefty 40% discount.
Last year, they were sold for a maximum of ₹1.3 crore for the entire duration of the course (4.5 years). At the start of the 2017-18 admission season, they were priced at a maximum of ₹1.88 crore.
However, there were few takers, with as many as 676 of the total 773 seats in this category remaining vacant even after the mop-up round.
Officials believe this is a result of demonetisation. What’s more, this is the first time that management and NRI seats were allotted through a common counselling process by the Karnataka Examinations Authority, based on the National Eligibility-cum- Entrance Test (NEET) scores.
Compare this with other category seats: barring 20 spots, all the affordable seats in government medical colleges and government quota and private seats in private medical colleges that cost ₹16,700, ₹77,000 and ₹6.32 lakh respectively have been snapped up.
As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the vacant NRI and management quota seats were handed over to the respective institutions with a list of unallotted candidates in the order of merit in the ratio of 10 candidates for each vacancy.
In a hurry
M.R. Jayaram, president of the Karnataka Professional Colleges Foundation, said that managements were in a hurry to fill these seats by Thursday.
“Several seats are going abegging. We got them only late on Tuesday evening. So we have just about two days to ensure that they are filled. Despite the discounts, we are certain that all may not be filled,” Mr. Jayaram said.
However, parents and medical seat aspirants are crying foul as they feel that the college managements have already “fixed deals” prior to the admission process.
A parent of a candidate who failed to obtain a seat as she did not have a good NEET score said, “We did not pick a seat in a medical college and chose an engineering seat as the fees under the other quota was ₹42 lakh per annum. The same seats are now available for ₹30 lakh per annum. Had we known this earlier, we would have waited for this round.”
Medical Education Department officials said they would inquire into the matter and warned that colleges had to first exhaust the merit list given to them before admitting other candidates.