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Zero Qualifying Percentile for NEET PG 2023: Impact and Controversy

Thursday, September 21, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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In a major decision, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has reduced the qualifying percentile for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) 2023 to zero across all categories. In other words, from now on, with immediate effect, it means that all candidates who have appeared in the NEET PG 2023 exam are eligible to participate in postgraduate medical counselling.

According to a formal statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding this change, "the recommendation for lowering the qualifying percentile for postgraduate courses for 2023 (NEET PG 2023) has been considered in the Ministry."

The statement further states, "Approval of competent authority is hereby conveyed for the reduction of the qualifying percentile for NEET PG 2023 to ‘Zero’ across all categories." This decision aims to fill every clinical and non-clinical seat so that no seats are left vacant at the end of this academic year.

Dr. Harish Gupta, an ex-NMC member and elected member of the Delhi Medical Council (DMC), adds that this is not just in consonance with NEET PG counselling norms but also because students have already successfully completed the MBBS syllabus requirements.

While the counselling committee and administering bodies have welcomed the decision, expressing strong dissent, the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) said this takes away control over admission procedures. Dr. Rohan Krishnan, President of FAIMA, attacked this decision, stating that it will be at the cost of compromised standards of medical education and healthcare in India and may encourage corruption and hefty charges for admission to private medical colleges.

Substantially, the cut-off percentiles for NEET PG in different categories have been reduced over the years, with the general category being reduced to the 35th percentile in 2022 from the 50th percentile. IMA had earlier requested that the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare seek reconsideration of criteria for cutoffs so as to increase the number of students joining postgraduate programs and also check wastage of seats.

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