Over 20 members of Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU) and four from Student Federation of India (SFI) were arrested from the main gate of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences campus on Monday.

The members of the student unions were protesting against the scrapping of NRI quota from the MBBS and BDS medical counselling process that began here. According to SFI town secretary Praveen, 15 per cent of the total seats cater to the NRI quota and many of the seats remain vacant as there are usually few takers, but they are not allotted to local candidates in sliding.

“The seats go waste, we demand that the NRI quota be scrapped or at least the vacant seats be diverted to the local candidates,” he said. This year the medical counselling is taking place in four centres simultaneously across the state: Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada; JNTUH, Hyderabad; Andhra University Campus; and SV University.

The activists were arrested when they tried to barge into the counselling area. After a heated argument with the men in khaki they were taken into custody and released in the evening.

The activists also voiced their protest on the reduction of seats by the Medical Council of India from Siddhartha Medical College (SMC).

“The MCI has reduced 50 seats from SMC on the grounds of lack of infrastructure. This will affect the admission prospect of SC/ST students,” said Mr. Praveen.

“We also demand that the Government and the authorities concerned intervene to check the corruption in the allotment of management quota seats,” he added.

The Government has allowed about 40 per cent of the total seats in private colleges to be filled by managements and fixed a fee of about Rs.5.25 lakh per student per year and the allotment is based on intermediate marks. What is happening in reality is something totally different, he noted.

“The private colleges have either blocked their website to hinder prospective students from downloading the application form or have closed their admission desk. It is alleged that they are selling seats to candidates who can afford a price from Rs.40 lakh to Rs.1 crore. This is corruption and we want the authorities concerned to intervene,” alleged Mr. Praveen.

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