A few days ago, a controversy erupted on social media and in some mainstream media outlets, alleging that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) had the cutoff reduction of the percentile for National Eligibility Entrance Test-Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2023 counselling to ‘zero’ in order to facilitate the admission of Disha Mandaviya, the daughter of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that these claims are baseless and misleading.
The spread of this misleading information was mainly driven by social media users, particularly those aligned with or supporting opposition political parties. Several individuals and Twitter accounts, such as @snehasismiku, @ShivaniV2901, @pushprajyadav97, and @DrRashidFakhri, have been responsible for propagating these unfounded claims. Additionally, certain news portals, including @TheLallantop and @ULiveIndia, also shared this misleading information.
The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association of India (@FordaIndia), an official body representing resident doctors, released a statement on Twitter, asserting that every year, a significant number of PG medical seats remain vacant. To address this issue, the MoHFW decided on the cutoff reduction of percentile to zero for NEET-PG 2023 counselling. Importantly, their investigation also confirmed that Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s daughter Disha Mandaviya had not even registered for admission. Therefore, the assertion that the reduction in the cutoff percentile was linked to her is entirely unfounded.
हर साल PG में 10 से 12 हज़ार सीटें ख़ाली रह जाती है।— FORDA INDIA (@FordaIndia) September 23, 2023
उसे भरने के लिये आख़िरी राउंड में zero percentile करना एक सकारात्मक प्रयास है।
हमे छानबीन करने पर यह मालूम पड़ा की स्वास्थ्य मंत्री @mansukhmandviya की बेटी ने प्रवेश हेतु रजिस्ट्रेशन ही नहीं करवाया है।
उसके लिए percentile… https://t.co/V72XLqBh7F
The Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, himself addressed these allegations. In an interview with Bharat 24, he stated unequivocally that his daughter had not applied for the NEET exam. Moreover, he emphasized that those who were attempting to politicize this issue were not affecting him or his family. This statement by the Health Minister serves as a reliable source to refute the claims made on social media and in the media. The interview was conducted as part of the Swasthya Bharat Samman Conclave by Bharat 24.
The NEET-PG 2023 cutoff reduction of percentile was indeed reduced by the MoHFW, but it had nothing to do with any individual’s specific case. The decision was primarily motivated by the recurring issue of a high number of vacant medical PG seats each year, estimated to be between 10,000 and 13,000 this year.
It is also important to note that the reduction of the cutoff percentile to zero has been well-received by various medical organizations, including the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association of India. They view it as a positive step to address the persistent problem of vacant PG medical seats, which can lead to a scarcity of medical professionals in the healthcare sector.
Intent & Conclusion:
The motive behind these false claims appears to be politically motivated. The mainstream media and social media influencers have propagated this fake news with the aim of tarnishing the image of Disha Mandaviya and, indirectly, her father, the Health Minister. Such tactics are used to advance a particular narrative and serve political interests, rather than providing accurate and truthful information to the public.
The claims regarding the NEET-PG 2023 cutoff reduction on percentile to facilitate Disha Mandaviya’s admission are unsubstantiated and false. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has clarified that his daughter had not even applied for the NEET exam. The reduction in the cutoff percentile was implemented to address the ongoing issue of vacant PG medical seats, and it has received positive feedback from medical organizations. It is essential to be cautious and discerning when encountering such claims on social media and in the media, especially when they seem to be driven by political motives. Following a precise analysis and fact-checking, our team has reviewed the claim. You can refer to the findings of this inquiry in the Twitter thread below.
1135— D-Intent Data (@dintentdata) September 28, 2023
FACT:Mainstream media & users circulating news claiming that the Health Ministry has reduced the qualifying percentile cutoff for all categories to zero for NEET–PG 2023 counseling to grant admission to Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya's daughter.(1/4) pic.twitter.com/nlLSwXGYHS
Claim: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reduced the NEET-PG 2023 cutoff percentile to ‘zero’ to benefit the Health Minister’s daughter.
Fact: The claim is misleading and false; the reduction in the cutoff percentile was not linked to any individual’s admission, and the Health Minister’s daughter had not even registered for the NEET exam.