The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has clarified that common counselling will be conducted at the state level for the admission to postgraduate and undergraduate medical courses. The main objective of the ministry is to promote transparency in the admission process.
After holding the first National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in 2016, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory on August 6, 2016, indicating that common counselling must be conducted for MBBS programmes. Later, UGC or University Grants Commission directed all the varsities across the country to take part in the common counselling and ensure transparency.
Later, the ministry repeated the same advisory in December 2016 as the counselling was not carried out as per the pre-determined regulations. However, the NEET has been made compulsory for the admission to medical courses from 2017 and the ministry has framed various legal provisions to hold common counselling strictly.
The ministry further announced that the Director of Health Services would continue to hold the counselling for AIQ or All India Quota seats at PG and UG levels for medical colleges.
Many changes have been made in the NEET examination since its inception. Recently, the Union Health Ministry introduced an age cap and limited the number of attempts for NEET examination. As a result, the candidates who wish to appear for NEET will have only three attempts to clear the examination.
On the other hand, the upper age limit was also reduced to 25 years. The decision of Union Health ministry did not get a positive response from various medical aspirants and some of them even filed petitions in High Courts and Supreme Court seeking justice.