Zero cut-off in NEET PG 2023 counselling receives mixed responses

While on one side, few medical associations appreciate the decision, others criticise it saying it will promote corruption
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: EdexLive)
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: EdexLive)

Today, the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) released a notice saying, "the qualifying percentile for PG Courses (Medical/Dental) for NEET PG Counselling 2023 has been reduced to 'ZERO' across all categories by MoHFW" (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare). This news received mixed responses from various medical groups.

To recall, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), United Doctors Front Association (UDFA) and Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) have been celebrating as they were demanding this. But on the other hand, the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) has criticised the commission's notice.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), FAIMA President Rohan Krishnan said, "I completely disagree with the bizarre circular released by @MoHFW_INDIA of removing cut off bar from #NEETPG. @PMOIndia - it is only going to promote corruption and high fee in pvt medical colleges. It is Shameful tht any medical body supported this step of zero percent merit. Medical Industry has come for sale in India and Merit is dying everyday."

FAIMA criticises 

Reacting to this, in a video posted on X, Krishnan said, "I think it is only killing of merit and promoting students who require more attention towards the MBBS subjects." Further, "When we are taking an exam, the whole purpose of bringing a uniform examination pan-India was to make sure that the merit is the highest and nothing else," he added. 

"Asking for zero-cutoff or giving a cut-off is giving the wrong message to medical history, the medical fraternity, the nation's healthcare structure and to those NEET-PG residents who couldn't afford private colleges", he said adding "I hope the government will take back this decision."

FORDA supports the move

Reacting to the online backlash against the move, FORDA's President Dr Aviral Mathur released a statement saying, "While this decision has garnered mixed reactions, it is essential to acknowledge its potential benefits. The upcoming NEXT exam introduces a different pattern, and this change in eligibility could help clear the backlog efficiently. Furthermore, it's crucial to clarify that the vacant seats are open to all, and allocation is not automatic; candidates have the choice to accept or decline."

"Obtaining eligibility for the counselling process does not inherently indicate a decline in the quality of future doctors. The outcome largely depends on the dedication and commitment of the students and it's a long road ahead of them. I believe that the Health Ministry has valid reasons for this decision, which may serve the larger interest of aspiring doctors and the healthcare system," the statement added. 

Additionally, "In conclusion, the Health Ministry's decision might have positive implications in the long run, considering the evolving landscape of medical education and the opportunities it offers to prospective candidates," said Dr Aviral Mathur in his statement. 

Speaking to EdexLive UDFA National President Dr Lakshya Mittal said, "Revision of cut off to zero should not be seen in a negative light as admission to PG seats would still be on the basis of merit itself. However, with this revision, it can be ensured that thousands of non-clinical seats that went to waste every year can now be filled by newly eligible students who are desirous to take admission this academic year."

Moreover, Health activist and National zonal coordinator IMA -MSN Dr Dhruv Chauhan in a conversation with EdexLive highlighted the pros and cons of zero cut-off in NEET PG 2023 counselling. 

According to him, the pros are that no seat will be left vacant while the cons include: an increase in Corruption and PG Seat prices in private colleges due to an increased number of candidates. "Only those with money in hand will become specialists since the rest others even despite having good merit will not get a seat if they don’t have money. A student scoring 400 and a student scoring 0 will be equal which shows the death of deserving candidates," he said.

FMGs raise concerns

Raising their concerns, Foreign Medical Graduates tweeted seeking a transfer for Ukraine-Russia-affected students to another country to complete their studies. An FMG Deepak Kumar tweeted on X (formerly Twitter) saying, "Resp. @mansukhmandviya sir
You have so much power that MBBS doctors with ZERO CUTOFF can take admission in PG
Sir, pls give one chance to #RussiaUkraineWarStudent
Exempt us from FMGL rule just for once so that we can take TRANSFER to another safe country to complete our study."

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