Tweaking of NEET results under scanner
Even as the Union health ministry is preparing for a review of the Supreme Court order on validity of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), its own tweaking of the NEET results and counselling for MD/MS seats at Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospitals affiliated to IP University are under the scanner. It is learnt that the health ministry modified the NEET-PG results to enable the selection of a selected group of candidates from Safdarjung Hospital affiliated to IP University, Delhi, and also supported the conduct of split counselling in the state of Delhi, separately for Delhi University and IP University that includes Safdarjung Hospital in order to support the admission of a kin of a top ranking official of the ministry.
While, according to the original criteria prescribed in MCI regulations, in order to be eligible for admission to any post-graduate course in a particular academic year, it was necessary for a general candidate to obtain a minimum of 50 percentile in the NEET PG Test for post-graduate courses and in respect of candidates belonging to SC/ST and other backward classes (OBC), the minimum qualifying percentile was 40. However, after the results were declared, the health ministry on 31 May, 2013, in an unprecedented manner ordered for revision in the qualifying criteria for NEET PG from percentile to percentage basis to allegedly favour a group of candidates who have graduated MBBS from Safdarjung Hospital.
The government issued new orders changing the minimum eligibility criteria for SC/ST/OBC candidates from 40 percentile to 40 per cent. Also, under the criteria used by the ministry for All-India Quota seats, which are not filled up under SC/ST or OBC category are converted to the general category.
According to sources in the ministry, the relaxation clause in regulations was used to accommodate 13 “influential students” who otherwise were not qualified had the original results on percentile basis was used. An analysis of the original and revised result reveals that by computing these candidates’ result on percentage basis, they have qualified in the NEET PG with revised result notified on 4th June 2013.
While, a group of MD/MS aspirants have challenged the change in the cutoff criteria for qualifying NEET PG for 2013 admissions in the court, the red-faced health ministry is unable to provide a valid reply for the modification in the rules.
Students have also sought common counselling for MD/MS seats for the state of Delhi, including the colleges affiliated to Delhi University and IP University as a separate counselling for IP University and Delhi University will again favour a kin of the senior health ministry official.