The Andhra Pradesh Health Minister, Kamineni Srinivas, requested the Centre today to reduce the qualifying scores for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test to Postgraduate Medical Courses (NEET-PG) in all categories to enable qualification of more students from the state. NEET-PG had been introduced in 2016 as the single window entrance examination providing admissions to MD, MS and PG Diploma medical courses across India.
Srinivas, who put forward his requests to JP Nadda, the Union Minster of Health and Family Welfare, said that the Minister had responded positively and assured him that the qualification marks for NEET-PG will be reduced. "The Union minister accepted my request in principle and assured a positive outcome. The move would help fill up vacant seats, including in non-clinical courses, in government colleges," Srinivas was quoted as saying. “Though only Andhra Pradesh made a representation, candidates from all the states in the country are benefiting. This will ensure that the PG seats in all the medical colleges in the State will get filled,” he added. The reduction in eligibility marks is expected to come into effect before the first counselling of NEET 2017.
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According to the NEET PG 2017 official prospectus, candidates belonging to Unreserved categories have to secure a minimum score of 50 percentile in the test. For candidates belonging to Schedule Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories, the minimum qualifying score is 40 percentile while for the Physically Handicapped (PH) category, it is 45 percentile.
The Andhra Pradesh Government’s demand comes days after Tamil Nadu had sought an exemption from NEET UG and PG arguing that it would be unfair on the economically weaker students hailing from rural areas to be able to clear such a rigorous national level exam without having access to quality coaching.
Andhra Pradesh had earlier been joined by the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana in opting out of the 15% All India Quota seats for NEET UG and 50% All India Quota seats for NEET PG, meaning that students from these states could apply for admissions to the medical colleges of their own states only. With this latest request on NEET-PG being approved in principle by the Health Ministry, it now remains to be seen whether the reduction in cut off scores will be made applicable to NEET UG 2017 as well.
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