NEET-PG 2023: cut-off reduced to zero for all categoriestext_fields
New Delhi: The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), responsible for allotting the post-graduation seats for medical education through the NEET-PG exam, in a surprising announcement, said that the eligibility for the seats still vacant this year will be zero percentile.
This is the first time that the eligibility cut-off has been completely eliminated since the examination replaced all other medical entrance tests in 2017.
Despite two rounds of counselling, there are currently more than 13,000 vacant PG seats in medical colleges across the country.
“The qualifying percentile for … NEET PG Counselling 2023 has been reduced to ‘ZERO’ across all categories by MoHFW. In this regard, it is mentioned that Fresh Registration & Choice Filling for Round-3 of PG Counselling will be opened again for candidates who have become eligible after a reduction of percentile,” the notice from MCC says.
“This does not mean that even students getting zero are eligible for a seat,” said a senior official from the Union Health Ministry, clarifying the directive issued earlier this week.
“For students, this means that admission through the counselling process will be on till seats are available. This year alone, of the 68,000 seats that are available, 13,000 still haven’t been taken up,” he said.
The Health Ministry on Friday clarified that its directive to reduce the cut-off to zero across all categories will translate into seats being offered to students till they are exhausted.
This will be done through an online, transparent, counselling process which will do away with the alleged backdoor entry that was offered through some private colleges, it said.
A rank is assigned to all students automatically at the all-India level based on the marks they have scored on the test. This ranked list is used for allocating 50% of the available PG seats under the all-India quota.
When the eligibility criteria change, the released list is expanded, typically reducing the cut-off by five or ten percentile points as the counselling process progresses, especially if seats continue to remain unfilled.
“Why waste the resources? Especially, when all the people who sit for the test have already passed their MBBS examination and are already doctors,” the health ministry official says.
The official added that this not only caused seats to go vacant but also led to a shortage of faculty for some subjects. “Often, it’s the non-clinical subjects where seats are vacant. This new direction will ensure that seats are offered through counselling to students,” he added.
The Ministry said that last year, the cut-off percentile was reduced from 50 to around 20.
“Seats will continue to be awarded as per merit, and because it’s being done in a transparent manner, there will be no exploitation of the students. The drop in percentile will make several more students eligible for admission. This year, over two lakh students appeared for the PG entrance exam,” the official said.
Welcoming the latest move, United Doctors Front Association national president Lakshya Mittal said that the new rules and regulations would benefit the students as they were accompanied by the transparency that is being maintained during the entire counselling procedure this academic year.