Over 15.9 lakh candidates had registered for the highly competitive entrance exam, to secure admissions to medical colleges, and over 13.6 lakh had appeared for the exam.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Over 15.9 lakh candidates had registered for the highly competitive entrance exam, to secure admissions to medical colleges, and over 13.6 lakh had appeared for the exam.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

NEET results out: Two create history with perfect score of 720

In line with the criteria for the exam, Soyeb Aftab was ranked first while Akanksha Singh was ranked second. According to National Testing Agency, age is the last on a list of factors used to break a tie -- the elder of the two candidates gets the higher rank.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondents
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2020 10:53 AM IST

Soyeb Aftab from Odisha and Akanksha Singh from Delhi scored a first-ever “Perfect 720” to emerge on top in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the results of which were declared Friday.

In line with the criteria for the exam, Aftab was ranked first while Singh was ranked second. According to National Testing Agency, age is the last on a list of factors used to break a tie -- the elder of the two candidates gets the higher rank.

Over 15.9 lakh candidates had registered for the highly competitive entrance exam, to secure admissions to medical colleges, and over 13.6 lakh had appeared for the exam. A majority of the candidates, over 8.8 lakh, was women.

Among the candidates who qualified, 3.59 lakh belonged to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 98,809 to Scheduled Castes (SCs), 33,848 to Scheduled Tribes (STs), and 2.21 lakh to the unreserved category. From the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), 57,444 cleared the NEET, as did 2,137 persons with disabilities (PwD).

Overall,1,597,435 candidates had registered, 1,366,945 had appeared for the exam and 7,71,500 have qualified, the NTA, which conducted the exam, said.

Soyeb Aftab (18), and Singh, are also the first ever NEET aspirants to score 720 marks out of 720.

Aftab’s father Sheikh Mohammad Abbas is a businessman while mother Sultana Raziya is a homemaker.

Asked whether he had expected to emerge all-India topper, Aftab said he had attempted all questions and had expected to be among the top 100. “But later when I checked my score with the answer key and saw I had score full marks, then I started thinking of getting rank 1,” he said.

Aftab has done his class 11 and 12 from Sarvodaya Paramount School in Kota and is set to be the first doctor in his family. “Lockdown brought me a benefit -- I didn’t stop, I overcame my weaknesses, I revised my weak topics again and again,” he said.

After doing his MBBS from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, Aftab wants to be a specialist in cardiology. “I also dream of discovering treatments for diseases that have no cure until now; I would like to do research in such field,” he said.

Delhi’s own Akanksha Singh, who, too, managed a perfect 720 out of 720, it was article on AIIMS, Delhi, and the questionable medical facilities in eastern Uttar Pradesh that pushed her on to the path of medicine, four years ago.

“I wanted to be an IAS officer till class 8. Then I read about AIIMS and was inspired to help people. Besides, the medical facilities around eastern Uttar Pradesh were not very good and that too inspired me to pursue medicine,” Singh said.

Daughter of a former air force sergeant and a primary school teacher, Singh secured all-India rank 2, for being the younger of the two perfect scorers. When asked if she expected this score, she said, “I had expected to get 700 as I was aiming to be among the top 40 ( to make it to AIIMS). But 720/720 is unbelievable.”

The medical aspirant said she continued her preparations online even during the lockdown.

“I was stressed that exams might not be conducted and I may lose a year.Still, I decided to make the best use of the time. So while on normal days, I studied for about 10-12 hours, that went up to 13-14 hours a day during the lockdown. I was relying on YouTube and video lessons offered by my coaching institute to prepare,” she said.

Born and raised in a small village called Abhinayakpur in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, the 17-year-old travelled 70km for four days a week when she was in class 9 and 10 to attend the coaching classes for medical entrance exams.

“We didn’t have great education facilities in Kushinagar. The opportunities were few. For two years, I had to travel 140km a day, four days a week, to attend classes. We realised that wasn’t feasible. So my father took voluntary retirement from the air force and we moved to Delhi for my class 11 and 12,” she said.

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