It was a historical day for the students and teachers related to NEET 2020 as a student from Odisha named Shoyeb Aftab scored 100% marks in the competitive exams. Shoyeb created history after scoring 720/720 marks in the entrance exam for medical.
The boy did a lot of hard work to get such a score and people applauded him for his achievement. However, another girl Aakanksha Singh who hails from Delhi also scored 720/720 marks in the exams but the girl got the 2nd rank in the exams.
Netizens raised questions to NTA for such impartial behaviour if both the candidates have scored exact equal marks in all the subjects. People fumed on Twitter for awarding Shoyeb Aftab as AIR 1 and Aakanksha Singh as AIR 2.
Interestingly, both the candidates are from the unreserved category and have scored identical marks in all the four subjects.
The National Testing Agency has developed a tie-breaker policy that will be applicable during such a tie-breaking situation. This policy has been designed to shortlist and rank applicants based on their performance and basic eligibility.
Clarifying on the issue, a senior official of the NTA explained, as per NTA’s tie-breaking rules, when two candidates secure the same marks, their ranks are determined based on their scores obtained in Biology and Chemistry.
In cases where the rankings for the candidates cannot be assigned using the relative scores obtained in the examination, the candidates are further shortlisted taking into consideration the number of answers that are incorrect.
As Aftab and Akanksha have scored a perfect score in the NEET exam, the question of comparison of their marks does not arise. In such cases, the NTA chooses the criteria of difference in the age between candidates to assign ranks to them. Candidates who are older in age will be given preference over the younger ones.
Even though the NTA explained its decision is it fair for the candidate scoring the 2nd rank as the amount of hard work and effort is being downranked just because the candidate is younger. Is it time to overhaul the rules of NTA? Is it not possible to award AIR 1 to both the candidates? How can age be a factor to measure the capability of a student?
Yes, these questions are on everyone’s mind which reflects the social media debate demanding the same rank for Aakanksha Singh but will NTA overturn their decision, revive the rules and award her the same AIR 1 is still a question.