After pursuing his MBBS at Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal, Dr Prabhakar Reddy headed for the United States of America in 1990 to pursue his postgradaute studies.
After staying there for a decade and a half, he returned to the State in 2005.
However instead of forfeiting his US citizenship Dr Reddy decided to opt for the status of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) without realising that this decision would limit the chances of his children’s education in his country and State, later on.
A few months back, when his daughter was preparing to write a number of entrance exams including Common Entrance Test (CET) for entry into a number of professional courses in the State and Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) for entry into IITs and NITs and Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), a scholarship programm, did he realise that there was no provision for OCIs/ PIO to write these exams.
“We have been living here for 10 years now and are paying our taxes here and not abroad. So, why should one not get the provison to study here, as well,” said Dr Reddy.
Finding common ground with seven other families with similar issues, Dr Reddy decided to knock on the doors of the High Court to get this “unfair” practice rectified.
R Shridhar Rajanna, another petitioner had also written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on many occasions about the issues with little response.
“I had contacted an offical in the MHRD but this offical did not even know what the definition of OCI was. In Karnataka, I asked the KEA officials to show me the rules which restricts OCI students from writing the CET, they were not able to do so,” he said.
Rajanna is also a US returnee who came back in 2003. His daughter is presently in I PU.
Deccan Herald had written a story about how OCI students in the State, who wanted to write the CET, were unable to do so despite complying with all the rules laid down by the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA).