Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin has been against NEET.
In a U-turn of sorts the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) has reduced the qualifying NEET percentile for post graduate medical admission to zero. An official communication said "the qualifying percentile for PG courses (Medical/ Dental) for NEET PG Counselling has been reduced to Zero across all categories by MoHFW". It added "Fresh registration and choice filling for Round 3 of PG Counselling will be opened again for candidates who have become eligible after reduction of percentile".
Last year around 1300 PG Medical seats remained unfilled across the country. While this is being seen as an attempt to fill up seats in private medical colleges, largely run by politicians which charge around Rs 25 lakh a year for the masters programmes, many express concerns that this would pave way for deterioration of quality of doctors.
Also Read | NEET-PG 2023 Cut-Off Percentile Reduced To Zero Across Categories
Markandeyan (name changed) a senior doctor and a parent of a PG medical aspirant told NDTV, "This means it is now possible for a low scoring student in plus two exam, score an abysmally low score on undergraduate NEET and still gain admission to MS or MD scoring zero on PG NEET. Imagine the quality of doctors India would produce."
In Tamil Nadu, the state that opposes NEET, arguing it favours only affluent students who can afford private coaching and works against poor and rural students, Chief Minister M K Stalin called the development a confession by the Union government that "Centre accepts benefit of NEET is zero". He added, "By reducing NEET PG cut off to zero, Union government accepts that NEET is meaningless. It is just about coaching centres and paying for the exam. NEET has nothing to do with merit, we have been saying all along".
For nearly a decade, Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance test for undergraduate medical admission and made MBBS admissions on the basis of Class 12 marks. During the UPA regime former president Kalam had given assent to the state to be exempted from NEET. Presently though the state assembly had passed a bill seeing exemption, President Murmu is yet to give assent. The Centre is yet to respond to criticism yet.