New Delhi: An expert committee constituted to
look into modalities of the proposed single entrance test for
admission to all MBBS courses across India has recommended
that there should be no negative marking in the exam.
The committee set by the Medical Council of India (MCI)
has also recommended that there should be objective type
questions and a percentile score to determine the merit of all
applicants in the proposed National Eligibility-cum-Entrance
Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS courses from the next year.
The recommendations have been submitted to the MCI and its
Board of Governors will soon take a final call after
consulting officials of the Health Ministry.
If the expert panel`s suggestion regarding negative
marking is accepted, it will be for the first time that the
centrally-conducted medical entrance test for undergraduate
courses in India will not have such a system.
Sources said that the suggestion of not having negative
marking was rooted in concerns of low scores by applicants in
the entrance exam, leading to MBBS seats going vacant in
various medical colleges in the country due to lack of merit.
Such concerns have primarily been voiced by north-eastern
states which fear that their students may not match up to
others in the all-India merit in the NEET.
In this context, the MCI is also working on the
possibility of lowering the cut-offs for MBBS admissions.
At present, the proposed cut-off is 50 per cent for the
general category students and 40 per cent for the reserved
When asked, Chairman of the MCI Board of Governors K K
Talwar told agency, "We do not want any seat to go vacant.
"We are working to ensure that all MBBS seats are filled
up. We are working out the modalities of the NEET exam and
would soon notify the same."
Talwar said, "We are proposing to replace the old
percentage system with percentiles to determine the merit list
of candidate in the exam.
"We may further keep a clause for relaxing this cut-off
percentile in such states where all the MBBS seats are not
filled. Also, we have clarified the misconception that some
states have about them losing their medical seats.
"Their seats will remain with them and different states
will do their own counselling for the MBBS admission."
The exam is also proposed to have 180 questions, with 90
questions set aside for Biology and 45 each for Physics and
The Medical Council of India (MCI) will hold the proposed
NEET in collaboration with the Central Board of Secondary
Education (CBSE) in February next year for admission to a
total of 40,335 MBBS seats in 330 medical colleges across the
About 10 lakh candidates are likely to sit for the
examination next year, which is being conducted by the CBSE.
The CBSE plans to hold the examination in two languages -
English and Hindi, as in the case of all other all-India
The MCI, however, is also yet to take a call on the issue
of holding the exam in different vernacular languages, as
desired by some states like Gujarat, West Bengal and
Karnataka, who have expressed their reservations on the joint
all-India exam on this count.