NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday directed the National Board of Examinations (NBE) to reduce the cut-off by 15 percentile across all categories for NEET-PG 2021 to fill up vacant postgraduate medical seats in the country.
In a letter to NBE Executive Director Minu Bajpai, member secretary of the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), B Srinivas said, "After due discussion and deliberations, it has been decided by the Health Ministry in consultation with NMC to reduce the cut-off by 15 percentile across all categories, i.e. the qualifying percentile for a general category may be reduced to 35th percentile, for PH (Genl) to 30th percentile and reserved category (SC/ST/OBC) be reduced to 25th percentile."
"In view of the above, you are requested to kindly declare the revised result and send the revised result data of the newly eligible candidates to the office of the undersigned at the earliest," Srinivas said.
The decision was taken in consultation with the National Medical Commission (NMC). There are over 8,000 seats, which remain vacant, even after two rounds of all India and two rounds of state quota counselling.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Postgraduate) is conducted for postgraduate medical courses.
The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), which had earlier flagged the issue with the ministry, welcomed the government move saying the decision would help fill up all the vacant seats.
FAIMA president Dr Rohan Krishnan said, "This year, due to Covid, the examination was delayed twice. The counselling process was also delayed because of Covid and a court case. This is the admission of the 2021 batch, which is happening in 2022, and still, thousands of seats are vacant. The cut-off was very high this year, and the medical exam's competitiveness is very tough. Reducing the cut-off does not mean that we are reducing the merit criteria. This was a need of the hour."
Earlier, the NMC had removed the upper age limit for those appearing in NEET-UG 2022 exam.