The Health Ministry has directed the National Medical Commission (NMC) to reduce the cut-off for qualifying percentile for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-Post Graduate (PG) 2023 to “zero” across all categories on Wednesday. The move comes as a major relief to postgraduate medical student aspirants this year and makes medical aspirants who have become eligible after reduction of percentile to edit their choices also.
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Currently, the NEET PG Cut-Off percentile is 50 for students from general/unreserved categories, 45 for PwD and 40 for students of other reserved categories.
The Health Ministry in its letter said that the recommendation for reduction in qualifying percentile for postgraduate courses for 2023 (NEET PG 2023) has been considered and the approval of competent authority is hereby conveyed for reduction of qualifying percentile for NEET PG 2023 to ‘Zero’ across all categories.’’
Dr. Harish Gupta, member of the Delhi Medical Council said that the decision has been made to fill all the clinical and non-clinical seats so that unlike previous years, no seats are left behind. He added that all the postgraduate seats will be filled in accordance with the NEET-PG counselling norms and that there will be no compromise with the quality of medical education.
Previously, the Indian Medical Association had also written to Health Ministry asking for a reduction in the cut-off marks for the NEET PG 2023 exam, which they said would ensure that a significant number of aspiring doctors could enrol for postgraduate programmes in various medical colleges across the country, and not a single postgraduate seat would go vacant. “We request you to reduce the NEET PG 2023 cut off percentile up to 30% so that most of the seats are filled in both clinical and non-clinical branches,” the Association wrote in its letter to the Ministry.
The decision has meanwhile also received flak with the Federation of All India Medical Association tweeting that the move is shocking. “It’s ridiculous to see zero percentile candidates are eligible for getting a postgraduate seat. This makes a mockery of the standard of medical education and healthcare system in India.”
Adds Dr. Anant Bhan, researcher in global health, health policy and bioethics: “The move is surprising and does raise concerns around quality with respect to PG medical education. It would be good for any such policy decision to be substantiated in terms of rationale, otherwise it will be seen as a way of protecting the interests of some stakeholders in medical education, like private medical colleges.”
Echoing similar fears RTI activist Dr. K.V. Babu said: “It seems like the government wants to fill all the seats of private medical colleges.”