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Tag: Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)

Eligibility Criteria for OCI Cardholders 2023: Corrigendum Issued by Ministry of Home Affairs

On April 15, 2023, an amendment was made to the Information Bulletin of NEET (UG) 2023 – Clause 5.2.2. The eligibility of OCI cardholders for NEET (UG) is covered by this provision. The previous modification to the clause was published on March 4, 2023, in accordance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated March 2, in W.P. No. 891 of 2021.

 

The modified clause, it has been discovered, was unintentionally written in a way that did not adequately reflect the intent of the honorable Supreme Court order. A fresh corrigendum has been published as a result to correct the error.

 

In accordance with the ruling of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in W.P. (C) 891/2021 and related proceedings, the Ministry of Home Affairs in India recently modified the eligibility requirements for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) applicants for NEET (UG), Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons with Indian Origin (PIO), and Foreign Nationals. Aspiring OCI, NRI, and PIO candidates are advised about the modified clause in Clause 5.2.2 of the Information Bulletin of NEET (UG) 2023 dealing with the eligibility of OCI cardholders for NEET (UG), which supersedes a previous corrigendum on the topic dated March 31, 2023.

 

Existing Provision

According to the previous regulation, to be eligible for admission against any seat solely allocated for Indian citizens, including paid seats at deemed universities, an OCI cardholder must be treated as a foreign national possessing a foreign passport. The revised clause, however, now states that admission to medical, dental, ayurvedic, siddha, unani, and homoeopathic colleges is open to Indian citizens as well as Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), and Foreign Nationals, depending on the rules and regulations established by the relevant State Governments, Institutions, and the Government of India, as the case may be.

 

OCI shall be entitled to the rights and privileges that had been granted to them prior to the notification of 04/03/2021, in accordance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated February 3, 2023, in W.P. No. 891 of 2021. The rights to which an OCI cardholder shall be entitled under the Citizenship Act of 1955 were previously specified by the Ministry of Home Affairs. An OCI cardholder will have parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of appearing for all India entrance tests such as the Joint Entrance Examination (Main), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced), or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat, according to clause (4) (ii) of the aforementioned notification. 

 

It is significant to note that holders of PIO cards and foreign nationals would not be permitted to sit in any seat designated for Indian nationals only. OCI/PIO will therefore be considered foreigners and will only be eligible for NRI seats, not Indian National Seats, including paid seats at recognized universities.

 

In accordance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated 03.02.2023 in W.P No. 891 of 2021, Clause 5.2.2 of the Information Bulletin of NEET (UG) 2023 has been modified to expand the qualifying requirements for OCI candidates. In accordance with the norms and guidelines established by the relevant State Governments, Institutions, and the Government of India, the modified clause offers OCI candidates the same rights and benefits as they were previously entitled to.