New Delhi: The cut-offs for admission to postgraduate medical courses through the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 will be reduced by 7.5 percentile points, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The move comes after the ministry received various representations from state governments which said that seats in some categories may remain vacant as there are not sufficient number of candidates available.

“It has been decided in consultation with the Medical Council of India (MCI) to reduce the percentile cut offs for NEET-PG 2017 by 7.5 percentile, taking them to 42.5 percentile for general candidates, 32.5 percentile for reserved category candidates and 37.5 percentile for PWD category," an official statement said.

NEET–PG, 2017 was conducted by National Board of Examinations (NBE) for admission to all post-graduate medical courses in the country. The qualifying criteria was 50 percentile points for general category, 40 percentile for OBC/SC/ST and 45 percentile for PWD category.

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This lowering of cut-offs by the central government is applicable for the academic year 2017 only and around 9,000 additional candidates are expected to benefit by this decision, the ministry said. As per Clause 9 sub-clause III of the Medical Council of India’s Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations (PGMER), 2000, when sufficient number of candidates fail to secure minimum marks, the central government in consultation with the MCI, may lower the minimum marks which shall be applicable for the said academic year only.

“Representations were received from some state governments that seats in some categories may remain vacant as sufficient number of candidates are not available," the ministry said. PTI