Rajasthan boy tops NEET, nine students from Delhi in top 50
The national capital led the way in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) results published on Wednesday with the best pass percentage across India and nine candidates in the top 50, including the second-rank holder, Bhavik Bansal.
The overall pass percentage in NEET, the nationwide uniform medical entrance test that is in its fourth year, stood at 56.5, up from 56.27 last year. A total of 1,410,755 candidates appeared for the exam and 797,042 were declared as qualified for counselling by the National Testing Agency (NTA) that conducted the exam. Delhi recorded a pass percentage of 74.92, up from 73.73 the previous year.
Nalin Khandelwal, a resident of Sikar in Rajasthan, topped the examination with 701 marks out of a maximum of 720 while Bansal was second with 700 and Akshat Kaushik from Uttar Pradesh third, also with 700.
Madhuri Reddy G from Telangana was the topper among women candidates, and held the seventh rank overall. Kirti Agarwal from Madhya Pradesh secured the second rank among women examinees and 15th rank overall. There were seven women in the top 50.
Bansal graduated from Vivekananda School in east Delhi, and had scored 93% in his Class 12 board examinations. Bansal’s parents are both Delhi government employees — his father is an accounts officer and mother a physics teacher in a government school.
“I was confident of being among the top 10 rank holders, but second rank is a surprise. I used to stay at home and prepare for the exam, and my parents motivated me all the time,” he told PTI. “I do not like watching TV. However, I used to watch a lot of stand-up comedy videos on YouTube to de-stress,” he added.
Khandelwal said he took a break from social media and smartphones. “I studied for nearly seven-eight hours a day,” he added.
But bad news came from southern India with two aspirants killing themselves in Tamil Nadu, where students have been up in arms over the syllabus and alleged language bias of the national exam, and which registered the worst pass percentage among big states.
There were no students from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes in the top 50, and 43 of them were from the unreserved categories while seven were from the other backward classes (OBC).
More women (55.2%) appeared for the test than men (44.8%). Female candidates led male candidates in pass percentage by around two percentage points. Five transgender candidates appeared for the test and three qualified.
In a statement, the NTA said NEET was one of the “most sensitive exams” that it conducted this year, for which it held the test in 154 cities, in 2,456 centres, 64,000 rooms, deploying 1,28,000 invigilators in addition to over 6000 observers and NTA representatives.
NEET was mooted as a uniform nationwide test to replace a raft of state-specific entrance examinations and the Pre-Medical Test conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE). But a web of legal challenges, especially from southern states and West Bengal, held up the process and the first NEET was held in 2016. Some states such as Tamil Nadu were unhappy that NEET was based on a CBSE syllabus and argued that it will hurt students under state board syllabi, and those who were not proficient in English and Hindi.
The results of NEET are used for counselling and allotment of seats in medical and dental institutes across India, except six autonomous institutes, including Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
In 2019, 79.31% of the candidates took the test in English, 11.84% in Hindi and 8.86 % chose regional languages. Of these, the highest number chose Gujarati (3.91%) followed by Bengali (2.07%) and Tamil (2.06%).
According to a senior NTA official, one of the most exacting tasks was to ensure there were no anomalies or discrepancies in translation of the question. “We followed a unique practice. A question, say for instance, was translated from English to Gujarati. To ensure there was no error in translation, the translated version was sent to another translator who would translate it back in English. If the newly translated version matched with the original, the question would make it to the test screen,” the official said.
The toppers received a call from the human resource development (HRD) minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, said an HRD ministry official.
(With agency inputs)