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Petition filed in Supreme Court seeking directions to reduce percentile criteria for NEET PG 2020

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The Supreme Court has been approached by Dr. Sushil Badgaiya among other petitioners, seeking directions to further reduce the qualifying percentile criteria across categories published on March 12, 2022 by the National Board of Examination for more than what was reduced for NEET PG 2020 on July 14, 2020, to accommodate the mitigating and extenuating circumstances that were unique to the candidates who had appeared in NEET-PG 2021, owing to Covid-19.

On Wednesday, a Bench comprising Chief Justice (CJI) N.V. Ramana, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli refused urgent listing of the matter. Senior Advocate Krishnan Venugopal had sought the urgent listing, stating that it was a matter of national importance. The petition has been filed by Advocate-On-Record Shivendra Singh. 

The petition has challenged the fixation of reduced cut-off marks on March 12, 2022 for NEET-PG 2021, which is markedly lesser than the reduction of qualifying percentile for NEET-PG 2020. It is the contention of the petitioners that they have worked on the frontline, high-risk duties during the surge of COVID-19 cases in 2021 apart from preparing for NEET-PG 2021.

“The fixation of reduced cut-off marks across categories ought to have been more than what was done for NEET-PG 2020 on 14.7.2020 to accommodate the mitigating and extenuating circumstances that were unique to the candidates who had appeared in NEET-PG 2021,” reads the petition.

“In NEET-PG 2018, the qualifying percentile was reduced by 15 points, in NEET-PG 2019 by 7 points, in NEET-PG 2020 by 20 points, and in NEET-PG 2021 it has been reduced by 15 points,” stated in the petition.

According to the petition, the Health and Family Welfare Minister had stated before the Lok Sabha that 1,425 PG medical seats remained vacant last year and had underlined the importance of reduction of qualifying percentile to fill up the vacant seats.

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