Mumbai girl tops NEET 2021 with 720 marks, says Covid could not shake her confidence

Karthika G Nair has topped the exam with cent per cent marks. She says she is inspired by healthcare professionals who helped India fight the Covid pandemic.

NEET 2021 results were announced by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on November 1 and around 16 lakh candidates received their scorecards. One of them was 17- year-old Karthika G Nair, who not only topped the exam but scored cent per cent marks.

Born in Kerala, Karthika has been brought up in Mumbai. Her father Gangadharan K works at a private firm’s logistics department and her mother Sri Vidya is a teacher at a local college in Mumbai.

Karthika completed her Class 12 from DAV School in Mumbai’s Panvel. While she was preparing for the medical entrance exams for the past two years, she “did not expect to get full marks”.

“I have always believed in hard work but I was not confident of getting 720 marks. But it all just makes my faith stronger. Nothing is unachievable with genuine efforts and sincerity,” she said.

Mumbai had been badly hit by both the waves of Covid-19. This impacted NEET aspirants’ preparations, as educational institutes were shut due to the spread. But Karthika was determined to ace the exam.

“There were many challenges during the pandemic. Schools and coaching centres were inaccessible. Unlike JEE aspirants, we do not have the luxury to prepare online as NEET is an offline exam. At times, it became difficult to practise in the pen-and-paper mode because most of us ran out of question papers and other studying materials. However, where there is a will, there is a way, and it all came down to a happy ending,” said Karthika, who is a fan of crime thriller novels.

She has always wanted to become a doctor because the profession is “noble and requires responsibility”.

“During the pandemic, reading and singing kept me afloat. Despite the outside conditions being unbearable, I managed to keep my calm and continue with the preparations. Just like the doctors who played an important role during the coronavirus pandemic, I too want to serve the public. I have not yet decided on my specialisation but I find oncology and neurology interesting,” said Karthika, who wants to join AIIMS Delhi to pursue MBBS degree.

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