New Delhi: The 17-year-old son of a Punjab school teacher, two close friends from Madhya Pradesh and a Delhi Public School student from Bengaluru, on Friday, bagged the first four positions in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), an all-India examination for admission to medical and dental colleges.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts the examination, announced the results on Friday morning, ending weeks of suspense that saw the Madras high court withholding the outcome before the Supreme Court cleared it.
Launched in 2016, the NEET replaced a clutch of entrance exams conducted by states and colleges.
There were more successful women than men, the results show, with 3.45 lakh clearing the exams out of 6.16 lakh who wrote it. About 2.66 lakh men out of 4.73 who gave the exam were successful.
Five transgenders out of eight candidates also passed the exam held on May 7, the CSBE said.
Topper Navdeep Singh plans to pursue an MBBS degree from Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi, his father, Gopal Singh, told HT at their home in Mukstar, around 550 km from Chandigarh.
“I was hopeful of clearing the exam but I had not expected to become the all India topper,” said Navdeep, whose hobbies include playing cricket.
Two other students from Punjab were placed among the top ten, with Nikita Goyal securing position 8 and Tanish Bansal with rank 10.
The results were particularly sweet for the friends from Indore, Archit Gupta and Manish Mulchandani, who were placed second and third.
Both Gupta and Mulchandani left their homes to live in a hostel so that they could concentrate on their studies and motivate each other. They attended the same coaching institute. Gupta wants to be a neurosurgeon.
“Archit and I always compete with each other, but it is a healthy competition and helped us score well,” said Mulchandani, who will represent India in the Bio Olympiad in London on July 23.
Both were also placed among the top 10 of successful candidates in an entrance exam to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Sankeerth Sadananda, ranked 4, is a Delhi Public School student from Bengaluru in Karnataka. Son of a company secretary father and biology teacher, he has always been interested in biology and has decided to focus on a career in health care.
Sadananda too has aced the AIIMS entrance exam, securing 27th rank . He secured 97 per cent in Class 12.
“It is a great feeling to have aced these exams and I am a little confused at the moment because of the choices I have,” he said.
However, his heart seems set on AIIMS. “I don’t think anybody can turn dow AIIMS,” he said.