For 18-year-old Abhishek Dogra, his hard word of two years paid off when he secured the all-India fifth rank in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET), results of which were announced on Friday. ‘’I am very excited and satisfied as my efforts have finally paid off,” said Dogra, who also emerged as the Maharashtra topper, with 691 marks out of 720.
Dogra, an alumni of the New India School in Kothrud, had shifted to Kota for the last two years to prepare for the entrance exam. “I am happy with my performance. Though I have not planned anything… I have thought about becoming a cardiologist or a neurologist,” he told The Indian Express. On why he chose to opt out of Maharashtra Board and go for a tougher syllabus in CBSE at a crucial juncture, after his class X, Dogra said, ‘’I always wanted to be trained by the best tutors and that’s why shifting my base to Kota was never a problem.” But tougher competition awaited him there, and it took him a while to cope with it. “During the initial months, I felt intimidated… and took some time to adjust. But once I settled there, it was easy sailing,” he recounted.
Dogra had also secured the all-India ninth position in the entrance exam to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS); its results were announced last week. He is now looking forward to the counselling sessions and wants to pursue further studies at AIIMS. As many as 11.38 lakh students appeared in this year’s NEET, which saw an increase of nearly 140 per cent in the number of applicants.
For the first time, this year’s medical entrance exam was also open for nearly 480 applicants, who were Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), 69 from the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) category while 613 were foreign nationals.
This year, as many as 3,45,313 girls and 2,66,221 boys have qualified and can take up admission in medical colleges.