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Reducing cut-off percentile to increase NEET PG 2023 qualifiers: Health Ministry

New Delhi, September 24, 2023 – Officials from the Union Health Ministry have announced a significant change for NEET PG 2023 by lowering the qualifying percentile to zero. This decision is expected to expand the pool of qualifying candidates without compromising the merit-based admission system for postgraduate medical courses.

Key Highlights:

  • The new policy aims to increase the number of qualifying candidates while maintaining merit-based admissions for PG medical courses.
  • Admissions will be based on the highest scores and will be facilitated through a transparent counseling process.
  • The move is designed to eliminate alleged backdoor entry practices previously associated with some private colleges.
  • Speculation that candidates with zero percentiles could become specialist doctors has been dismissed as unfounded. Only those with the highest scores will be eligible for admission to their preferred courses and colleges.
  • Currently, there are 68,142 PG medical seats available in the country.


  • Previously, candidates scoring above the 50th percentile were eligible for counseling in the NEET PG admission process.
  • Last year, despite 3000 vacant seats under the all-India quota, the qualifying criteria remained at the 20th percentile.
  • This year, out of the 68,000 available seats, 13,000 have not been filled.
  • The move aims to address vacant seats and ensure that the admission process continues until all seats are occupied.

Merit-Based Approach:

  • The new policy reaffirms that the admission process will remain merit-based, with seats allocated according to the number available in the country.
  • Seats in non-clinical branches, such as anatomy, microbiology, physiology, and pathology, often went vacant due to low demand.
  • The reduction of the qualifying percentile to zero is expected to increase the likelihood of filling these seats and addressing the annual vacancy of 7,000 to 10,000 seats.

Official Announcement:

  • A notice issued by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), Directorate of Health Services, Government of India, on September 20 confirmed the reduction of the qualifying percentile to ‘zero’ for NEET PG counselling 2023 across all categories.

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