Gangtok: The National Medical Comission has approved 50 MBBS seats in Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS) for Sikkimese students annually, officials said on Friday.

These 50 seats will be free of cost for students who top NEET exams and the state government will pay all related expenses of the course, they said.

With this the number of reserved seats in the state quota has increased to 80 and the admissions for the 50 allotted seats will begin this semester.

Chief Minister P S Goley Friday said that this was a big oppurtunity for the future medical students of the state. The approval letter for the additional seats was recieved by the state government yesterday and that an MoU had been signed between the state government and SMIMS.

The allotment of seats in the medical college for Sikkimese students will greatly help those from financially weak background, he said.

“Earlier parents and guardians had to pay around Rs 16 lakh to Rs 17 lakh annually that scaled up to around a crore of Rupees by the time their respective wards complete their courses. But now for 50 students who join on merit there will be no fees,” he added.

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