Maharashtra leads NEET-UG applicants; NE states have fewest candidates

NEW DELHI: In the past five years, Maharashtra had the most NEET-UG medical exam applications among state boards, as reported by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Karnataka’s state board ranked second, followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh in terms of the number of applicants. This year’s NEET exam saw over 20.38 lakh candidates participating, a significant increase from the 14.10 lakh candidates who appeared in 2019.
The highest number of candidates appearing for the biggest entrance exam in the country from 2019-2023 were from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), according to data accessed by PTI. This year, more than 5.51 lakh applicants were from the board that conducts Class 12 exams at the national level.
However, among state boards, Maharashtra tops the chart in terms of applications for NEET-UG or the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Under-Graduate).
This year, more than 2.57 lakh candidates from the Maharashtra state board applied for the exam. Last year, more than 2.31 lakh candidates had applied for NEET-UG, according to the NTA data.
From the Karnataka state board, more than 1.22 lakh candidates applied for NEET-UG this year while last year, the number was 1.14 lakh.
In the third spot was the Tamil Nadu state board with more than 1.13 lakh students applying for the medical test this year. From the Uttar Pradesh state board, more than 1.11 lakh candidates applied for NEET-UG, the data showed.
The number of applicants from the Kerala state board was more than 1.07 lakh and from the Bihar state board it was more than 71,000.
The lowest number of applicants were from the Tripura state board (1,683), the Mizoram state board (1,844) and the Meghalaya state board (2,300), the data showed. Other state boards with less than 5,000 NEET-UG applicants are — Nagaland (2,422), Goa (3,834) and Uttarakhand (4,423).
The trend has remained the same in the last five years, the agency’s data showed.
The NEET-UG is the qualifying entrance exam for admission to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS).
For Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS), Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) and Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) and BSc (H) Nursing courses also NEET-UG is the qualifying exam. There are more than 80,000 MBBS seats in over 540 medical colleges in the country.
The NTA has been conducting NEET-UG on behalf of the health and family welfare ministry since May 2019. Earlier, NEET-UG was conducted by the CBSE.
Out of the 20.38 lakh candidates this year, 11.45 lakh qualified the examination, up by 48 per cent from last year.
Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of qualifying candidates (1.39 lakh), followed by Maharashtra (1.31 lakh) and Rajasthan (more than a lakh), according to the NTA.
The agency noted that Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are the two most populous states in the country while Rajasthan also figures in the top 10 in terms of population.
Kerala and Karnataka were also in the top five with over 75,000 candidates from each of these states qualifying the examination, the data showed.
The highest number of candidates in top 10 were from Tamil Nadu, the state which has been opposing the centralised medical entrance test. In the top 50, eight candidates were from Delhi, seven from Rajasthan and six from Tamil Nadu.
The NTA had conducted the test at 4,097 centres in 499 cities in India and abroad on May 7. It was conducted in 14 cities outside India — Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Colombo, Doha, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Manama, Muscat, Riyadh, Sharjah, Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait City.
The examination was conducted in 13 languages — Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

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