The Indian government has taken a significant step and reduced the qualifying percentile for NEET-PG-2023 to zero. Consequently, this opens up eligibility for all medical graduates to participate in the admission counselling process for super speciality courses this year. The intention of this move is to address the issue of vacant PG medical seats, which often number between 2,000 to 2,500 annually across India.
Officials from the health ministry highlighted the need for this reduction in the qualifying percentile to ensure that no PG medical seat remains unfilled. Even after two rounds of counselling for NEET-PG this year, numerous seats in specialized fields like physiology, anatomy, and biochemistry remain unoccupied.
This change allows fresh registration and choice filling for the third round of PG counselling for candidates who now qualify due to the lowered percentile. Candidates who were already registered can edit their choices accordingly. The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) will release a revised schedule for the third round and beyond.
Officials from the National Medical Commission (NMC) clarified that this substantial reduction in the qualifying percentile is a one-time measure. They explained that the expansion of medical colleges, especially in pre-clinical specialities like physiology and anatomy, necessitates this adjustment to allow aspiring teachers in these fields to seek admission.
It’s important to note that despite the zero cutoff, NEET-PG scores will still be used to rank applicants. This decision has received mixed reactions from the medical community, with support from organizations like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) and opposition from groups like the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), it aims to address immediate challenges in medical education.
While Dr. Vinay Aggarwal, chairman of IMA’s action committee, welcomed the government’s move, he emphasized the need to ensure that merit remains a key consideration in the admission process.