SC Directs IIT-Madras To Treat OCI Students At Par With Indian Students Concerning Fees

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The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the IIT-Madras to treat an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) student at par with Indian students concerning the fee charged. A bench comprising Justices Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari referred to its interim order dated October 27, 2021, which allowed an OCI NEET PG aspirant to appear in the counselling in the general category at par with Indian citizens, while granting him relief.

“Having heard counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the respondent-IIT, Madras has to consider the applicant/petitioner at par with the Indian citizens with regard to the fee charged in terms of our order dated October 27, 2021, subject to the result of this petition. The application is accordingly disposed of,” the bench said.

Senior advocate, Anitha Shenoy, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the institute is asking them to pay as per the fee structure set out for foreign nationals.

She contended that for the past 12 years, OCI students have been paying the same fee as their Indian counterparts which have been reversed in 2021 without any notice.

The counsel for the petitioner had earlier submitted that IIT Madras was asking the student to pay the same fees as charged from foreign nationals and referred to the order passed by the apex court allowing OCI candidates to attend NEET counselling in the general category at par with residents here.

The plea had contended that treating OCIs on par with Non-Resident Indians and foreign nationals was arbitrary. Highly popular among overseas Indians, the OCI card provides long-term visa-free travel and stay in India and gives the card-holders a host of privileges normally not given to a foreign national.

On a separate application, the bench also clarified that OCI students are also permitted to be treated at par with Indian students and are allowed to apply to any course/courses including Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) for the academic year 2021-2022.

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