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neet college upgrade: Now, medical aspirants can upgrade college choices till third round of NEET counselling


In a significant move benefiting medical aspirants nationwide, the Centre’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has reportedly made a crucial decision to permit students to upgrade their college choices until the third round of the counselling process. Until now, the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) of DGHS allowed upgradation of choices only until the second round, leaving students locked into seats allotted to them with no chance to explore better options available in the third round. The third round was exclusively for students without seats.

As per ToI report, the revised policy allows students to take advantage of the third round, also known as the mop-up round, but with a condition. If students do not join the seats allotted to them in either the second or third round, they will forfeit their refundable deposit amount, which is Rs 10,000 for all-India quota seats and central institutions, and Rs 2 lakh for deemed universities. Parents welcomed this provision, believing it would deter unnecessary seat blocking.

An official from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told ToI that the withdrawal of the previous policy, in practice for five years, aims to offer students the opportunity to participate in the third round and secure a seat of their preference without merit-based compromises. The NEET-UG counselling process for admission to 15 per cent all-India quota seats, deemed and central universities, as well as all AIIMS and JIPMER, will commence on Thursday.

In another significant development, the directorate specified that students allotted seats in the stray round (fourth and final round) who fail to join will be debarred from participating in the NEET-UG admission process for two years, in addition to losing their deposit money. The revised admission rules were released by the MCC for all-India quota admissions on Tuesday.

A parent highlighted that these changes are a relief for students as top government colleges often have vacant seats after the first two rounds, which become available in the third round. With no prior chance to upgrade, meritorious students were deprived of choosing these seats, while students with lower merit ranks benefitted. Now, students not only have the option to upgrade in the third round but those without seats can also register afresh for the stray round. However, only students without any seat allocation will be eligible for the stray round, and no seats will be reverted to the states after the second round, similar to last year’s process.


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