It was not enough that they had been through hell and back by the time there was clarity on when NEET was going to happen this year (because of the pandemic-induced lockdown); there was more in store for aspirants on the day of their results. When the time came for them to check their scores, as if to compound their agony, the official website, ntaneet.nic.in, crashed several times, only flashing the terse message that results would be soon available. It was past 9pm on Friday by the time students were able to check their National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) results online, posted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Over 2.27 lakh students had taken the exam in Maharashtra, for admission to medical, dental and pharmacy undergraduate (UG) programmes.
Soyeb Aftab from Odisha secured the All India Rank (AIR) 1 by securing a perfect 720/720 in the NEET UG 2020 exam. Akanksha Singh of Delhi secured the second rank, becoming the female topper in India, followed by Tummala Snikitha of Telangana, who secured the third spot, with 715 marks.
Zantye Ashish Avinash topped in Maharashtra by securing AIR 19, with 710 marks out of 720. Zantye, 18, who is from Sindhudurg, Malwan district, said, "I would practise my lessons as soon as the syllabus was taught. I studied daily although it was difficult to do so in the lockdown, as there was no motivation at all. I pushed myself and refreshed my mind by playing chess, going for long drives and exercising. I want to pursue MBBS from AIIMS, Delhi or KEM, Mumbai."
Vaidya Tejomoy Narendra of Maharashtra secured the second place in the state with 705 marks and AIR 43, followed by Parth Sanjay Kadam with 705 marks and AIR 45 and Chillarge Abhay Ashok with 705 marks and AIR 46.
This year, 13,66,945 candidates appeared for the NEET UG 2020 at 3,862 examination centres in India, of which 7,71,500 have qualified, an overall qualifying percentage of 56.44 per cent. This was slightly lower than the 56.50 per cent recorded last year. Around 4,27,943 female candidates qualified of the 7,48,866 who appeared while, 3,43,556 male candidates qualified out of the 6,18,075 who appeared in India. One transgender of the four who appeared for the exam qualified.
In Maharashtra, of the 2,27,659 candidates who registered, 1,95,338 appeared for the exam, of whom 79,974 have qualified, making for a state qualifying percentage of 40.94.
Until 9pm on Friday, students were repeatedly trying to check their results online. But the official website, ntaneet.nic.in, which was under maintenance, only displayed the message, "The NEET (UG)-2020 result will be available soon." Gaya Salim, a student said, "I was scared because I could not check my result despite trying several times. The website was down and the same message was repeated. It was 10pm by the time I could check my result."
The NEET UG 2020 exam was conducted following a trial in the Supreme Court (SC) on the question of whether it should be conducted amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Some students were against the examination because of the health risks involved in physically appearing for it, while others were in favour of the exam being held because they did not want to wait any longer or delay their admission.
Finally, the exam was conducted on September 13 from 2pm to 5pm by the NTA. In addition, on October 12, the SC allowed the NTA to conduct another NEET on October 14 for students who could not appear because of Covid-19 infection or because they were residing in containment zones.