Hyderabad: While pressure is being exerted on the Centre to lower the cut-off score in NEET PG-2017 so that more doctors become eligible for admission, the medical fraternity is concerned that this may compromise the quality of education.
It may be mentioned here that both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states have come up with this demand and the same has been conveyed to Health Minister J P Nadda. The argument for lowering the cut-off is that fewer in-service doctors (those working in Primary Health Centres after their MBBS) made the cut this time. The new format of the exam (NEET-PG was held for the first time) coupled with their daily duties resulted in many of them not obtaining 50 percentile in the entrance test this time, officials said.
Academics and senior doctors don’t buy this argument. “There is a general perception that standards of medical education have fallen compared to foreign standards. Hence national entrance tests like NEET have been introduced. How can the standards be maintained if cut-off marks are lowered?” queries Dr Vijay Mohan, president of the National Forum for Improvement of Medical Education and a professor in a city medical college.
If the Centre does yield to the plea, the decision should apply to in-service doctors only, considering their experience in the field, and not to everyone, he suggested.
Meanwhile, the talk doing the rounds is that managements of private colleges are worried about filling management seats and that is why they want the qualification mark to be lowered so that more candidates get admission.
Dr G. Sandeep, who wrote the PG test for the second time, said that fresh medical graduates like himself are worried that talent may miss out.
“No other state has raised objections except the two Telugu states. Each year more than 90 per cent of the students writing the exam are freshers, and in-service doctors are less than ten percent. There is no need for 30 per cent quota in clinical seats for in-service doctors when the number of candidates is less compared to the seats,” he said. But G Bhaskar Rao of the AP Medical Colleges’ Association reasons that quality will not be compromised with lowering of the cut-off percentile.
“At present the ratio of number of seats to number of candidates is 1: 2.5. We want it to be 1: 5 or 1:10 so that seats are not left vacant. In filling the seats the meritorious would get the first chance. The candidate in the tenth position will get the chance after nine candidates above him or her," he said....