NEW DELHI: A record number of 7.97 lakh students were declared as having ‘qualified’ as the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced the results of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the gateway to admission into MBBS and BDS courses in the country, on Wednesday.
Students having scored just 107 — out of total 720 — or less than 15 per cent in the reserved categories were declared as ‘pass’, while for general category students the cut-off mark stood at 134, which is less than 19 per cent.
Nalin Khandelwal from Rajasthan, who scored a record 701 marks, was declared all-India topper while Bhavik Bansal and Akshat Kaushal from Delhi secured second and third ranks, respectively.
NEET cut-offs are calculated on the basis of percentile since the inception of the one examination for all medical colleges (except for AIIMS and JIPMER-Puducherry) in order to keep a large pool of ‘qualified’ students, who might take admission in private medical colleges.
As per the policy adopted since 2016, students in general category are required to obtain marks equal to or more than the 50th percentile in order to be declared eligible while all in the 40th or more percentile in reserved categories are declared eligible.
“This means even those who’ve scored less than 20 per cent marks in the examination but can afford Rs 50 lakh upwards in private medical colleges can pursue MBBS while students with higher scores but no paying capacity will not get a chance to become a doctor if they cannot make it to a government medical college,” said Gurinder Grewal of Association of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare.
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This year, 65,000 MBBS seats are on offer, of which 32,000 will be in government-run medical colleges, sources in the health ministry said.