Odisha’s Soyeb Aftab bagged the top rank attaining a perfect score as the result of the medical entrance exam NEET was announced on Friday. Delhi girl Akansha Singh secured the second rank, according to officials of the National Testing Agency (NTA).
In a first, Soyeb Aftab secured 720 out of 720 which made him attain 99.99 percentile. A student of Allen Institute Kota for the last three years, Soyeb secured AIR 1.
Shoaib became the first student in the country to score 720 out of 720 in the exam. Shoaib said that his dream is to serve the country by becoming a good cardiologist. He wants to study further in AIIMS, Delhi.
“I cleared all my doubts during the coronavirus period as there was extra time and I saw this period as an opportunity,” he said speaking to Zee Media. Shoaib’s mother Sultana Razia said that she wishes him to serve the poor people as a doctor. She added that years of penance have paid off. Sultana Razia also became emotional during the conversation with Zee Media.
He said, “There is no doctor in my family, so I didn’t expect this. I had hoped to make it to top 100 or top 50 but I never expected to score 720/720. The exam was being postponed, so there was a lot of pressure. But the goal was to stay calm and utilise time.”
He stayed away from home due to studies for the last three years and had the full support of his mother. “I used to think in my childhood that machines would cure people. I studied for 10 to 12 hours regularly. There was less attention on physical health during studies. I am glad I have not gone home during the coronavirus period. I said at home that I will come only after passing the exam,” he said.
A total of 7,71,500 candidates have qualified the exam for which over 13.66 lakh candidates had appeared. The highest number of qualifying candidates are from Tripura (88,889) followed by Maharashtra (79,974).
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) was conducted on September 13 amid strict precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. From this year, the admissions to MBBS course in 13 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, will also be made through NEET following the amendment in National Medical Commission Act, 2019, passed by Parliament last year.
The test was offered in 11 languages — English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu — this year. Based on the initial report, more than 77 per cent aspirants took the test in English, around 12 per cent in Hindi and 11 per cent in other languages.
The exam was earlier postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government decided to go ahead with it, despite opposition by a section, to mitigate any further academic loss.