Akanksha Singh, a National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) candidate from Delhi, has a perfect total (720 out of 720) in the exam, securing the second rank. As per reports, Odisha’s Soyeb Aftab topped the NEET 2020 examination, also with a perfect score of 720, but since Singh is younger than Aftab, her was awarded the first rank, in accordance with NEET’s tie-breaker policy.

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“Soyeb Aftab of Odisha and Akanksha Singh of Delhi have both scored perfect 720 score in the NEET examination. However, as Aftab is older, he has been ranked at the top in the national ranking,” an official told PTI.

From rural Purvanchal to NEET topper

Singh is the first girl from rural Purvanchal to crack the medical entrance exam, according to Times Now. When asked about her dream, she said, “Earlier, I wanted to be an IAS officer, but from Class 9 onwards, I wanted to be a doctor only,” The Hindu reported. She was a student of a village school in Kushinagar district and would travel 70 kms from her village to Gorakhpur for further studies. Singh has also become one of only two students from rural Purvanchal to score a historic perfect 100 percent in the medical entrance examination.

“I studied in my own hometown till Class 10, but after that I came to Delhi with my father. He stayed with me in a hostel so that I could study Class 11 and 12 there and achieve my dream of becoming a doctor,” said Singh talking about the influence of her father, who is a retired sergeant with the Indian Air Force, on her life. Her mother is a primary school teacher.

The 17-year-old studied for 10 to 12 hours daily, and was confident of scoring around 700 marks in the exam. Apart from the study material provided by her coaching institute, she also checked out online classes of edtech platforms, reports Indian Express.

Speaking on the role of healthcare workers during the pandemic, Singh said, “The way doctors have performed risking their lives is an inspiration for thousands like me. It has made me realise the importance and responsibility of a health worker.”

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“I liked that medicine is a job where you can interact with people. My dream was to make it to AIIMS,” she said. She also shared that one day she aspires to specialise in neurosurgery research and make progress in the field. “I hope that my research will benefit people not only from my village, but all over India,” she said. 

Feature Image Credit: Live Hindustan

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