Read details here | (Photo: Edex Live)
Read details here | (Photo: Edex Live)

NEET PG zero percentile cut-off not violation of merit: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya explains 

Mandaviya said that in the current academic year, as many as 10,000 to 13,000 PG medical seats were expected to be left vacant after the counselling process 

For the first time after the Medical Counselling Commission (MCC) reduced the cut-off percentile for National Eligibility Entrance Test-Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2023 counselling to ‘zero’, spurring a debate across the medical community, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has spoken on the matter.

The Health Minister addressed the concerns while speaking at the Swasthya Bharat Samman Conclave by Bharat 24 explaining what “zero cut-off percentile means and how it would be implemented. A clip of this interview was shared by X (formerly Twitter) user Indian Doctor (@Indian_doctor) today, September 28, at 1:31 pm and has over 3,506 views so far. 

The minister emphasised that having a “zero” percentile cut-off is not a violation of merit.

“Zero percentile does not mean that a candidate scoring zero marks will also get admission. Zero percentile means that till there are vacant seats, the counselling process will continue on a merit basis and students will get admission. This will ensure that if a student is getting seats by merit, he/ she will not be required to pay huge money for private medical colleges,” the health minister was heard speaking in Hindi.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) reduced the cut-off percentile to zero for NEET-PG 2023 counselling via a notification dated Wednesday, September 20. The decision was taken after receiving representation from a few medical associations who urged a reduction in the NEET-PG cut-off citing a huge number of vacant seats. However, it also drew criticism from many who feel that the move will jeopardise public health in India.

Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that in the current academic year, as many as 10,000 to 13,000 PG medical seats were expected to be left vacant after the counselling process.

“On one hand, Indian students are moving out of the country for higher education while on the other hand, so many seats lie vacant every year. Moreover, we are increasing medical colleges in India where there is a shortage of faculty and there is a shortage of PG doctors in the country. Due to this situation, we have been reducing the NEET-PG cut-off from 50 percentile to 20-30 percentile but still seats remain vacant,” he explained.

Last year, the Supreme Court had also expressed its disapproval of the Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee for leaving over 1,400 vacant seats in the NEET-PG course for the academic year 2021-22.

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