NEET 2018: A statistical overview
Somesh S Menon, 11 May 2018, #NEET

The Central Board of Secondary Education has successfully conducted the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 6, 2018. As per statistics released by the CBSE, 13,26,725 candidates registered for the exam this year, an increase of 1,87,835 from the 11,38,890 registrations received last year. Admissions to more than 90,000 MBBS and BDS seats, in addition to seats in all Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) courses across the country, will be held on the basis of NEET scores. The CBSE also released a message on its official NEET website on May 6 post the exam, which declared “CBSE conveys thanks to all the candidates for their support in holding the NEET-UG successfully”.

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As per a detailed press release issued by the CBSE on May 7, 2018,  NEET was held in 2255 centres across 136 cities. The maximum number of candidates had opted to appear for NEET in English, followed by Hindi. Among the 9 vernacular languages, Gujarati was chosen the most while Oriya was opted for by the least number of candidates. The CBSE had also released a NEET statistics sheet before the exam in which the number of candidates per exam centre was revealed. Lakshadweep has the lowest number of candidates registered for NEET 2018 with 697 while Maharashtra had the highest with 1,83,961.

 

As has become the norm in NEET, one of the major headlines which grabbed eyeballs on exam day revolved around the strict and controversial enforcement of NEET dress code rules in various exam centres. All the major statistical highlights pertaining to the administration of NEET 2018 as well as with regard to the students who appeared for the same can be seen in the article below. 

 

About NEET 2018 Registrations

Total Registrations

NEET 2018

13,26,725

Registration Statistics by Nationality

Category

NEET Registrations 2018

Indian Nationals

13,23,672

NRIs

1842

OCIs

530

PIOs

60

Foreigners

621

Registration Statistics by Gender

Category

NEET Registrations 2018

Males

5,80,648

Females

7,46,076

Transgenders

1

Increase in NEET/AIPMT registrations – 2015 to now

Check below the data released by the CBSE reflecting the year on year increase in registrations from AIPMT 2015 to NEET 2018 -

Image-1

 

About NEET 2018 Exam Centres

As per the initial data released by the CBSE with the NEET 2018 prospectus on February 8, the exam was scheduled to be conducted across 150 exam cities, a significant rise from the 103 cities in which it was held last year. The same was confirmed through tweets sent out later in the month by MHRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.

However, on the day before the exam, the CBSE issued its statistical sheet showing that NEET 2018 would only be held in 136 cities. The list of cities which were removed was not made available publicly. However, the number of exam centres was revealed to be 2255, much higher than the 1921 exam centres in 2017. Check the comparison regarding NEET exam centres in 2018 with NEET 2017 below.

 

NEET Exam Centres 2018 vs 2017

Exam Centre Detail

Statistics from NEET 2018

Statistics from NEET 2017

Exam Cities

136

103

Exam Centres

2255

1921

Number of rooms

56,000 approx.

50,000+

Number of invigilators

2,00,000 approx.

1,50,000+

Number of observers

4000 approx.

3500+

Number of city coordinators

153

124

Number of officials

700

490

Top NEET states in terms of exam centres

S. No.

State

Number of Centres

1

Maharashtra

345

2

Kerala

226

3

Karnataka

187

4

Uttar Pradesh

171

5

Tamil Nadu

170

Lowest NEET states in terms of exam centres

S. No.

State/UT

Number of Centres

1

Lakshadweep

1

2

Sikkim

1

3

Daman & Diu

2

4

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

3

5

Mizoram

3

Top NEET states in terms of registered candidates

S. No.

State

Number of registered candidates

1

Maharashtra

1,83,961

2

Kerala

1,20,792

3

Uttar Pradesh

1,14,306

4

Tamil Nadu

1,07,288

5

Rajasthan

99,844

Lowest NEET states in terms of registered candidates

S. No.

State/UT

Number of registered candidates

1

Lakshadweep

197

2

Daman & Diu

627

3

Sikkim

780

4

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

875

5

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

1092

In an attempt to ensure candidates did not have to travel far, schools from different boards apart from the CBSE as well as different colleges were designated as NEET exam centres 2018. The number of schools from each board and the types and number of colleges which participated in NEET 2018 as exam centres can be seen below.

 

Type of exam centres in NEET 2018

Affiliation

Number of schools as centres

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools

1605

Kendriya Vidyalaya schools

234

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya schools

1

Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) schools

2

State Board schools

186

Engineering Colleges

75

Pharmacy Colleges

2

Higher Education Colleges

150

Total

2255

Increase in NEET/AIPMT exam centres – 2015 to now

The data given below shows how the number of exam cities and number of exam centres available for NEET have increased annually from 2015 till now -

Image-2

 

Controversy around NEET 2018 exam centres

Tamil Nadu, which has always had a frosty relationship with NEET, once again reignited its feud when it was revealed that numerous candidates had been allotted exam centres outside the state. As is visible from the ‘Top NEET states in terms of exam centres’ and ‘Top NEET states in terms of exam candidates’ tables above, Karnataka did not feature in the top five states in the latter, receiving only 96,377 registrations. The state was however inexplicably allotted 17 more centres than Tamil Nadu, which had received 1,07,288 registrations.

 

Affected candidates in Tamil Nadu approached the Madras High Court to rectify the situation which would require them to travel long distances to reach their allotted centres in Kerala and Rajasthan. While the Madras High Court ordered the CBSE to reallot all Tamil Nadu candidates centres within the state itself, the same order was stayed by the Supreme Court, which meant aspirants had to appear for NEET in their originally allotted centres only, irrespective of the distance.

 

As per CBSE rebuttal however, all candidates who had opted for Tamil as their medium were allotted centres within Tamil Nadu itself while the candidate who had been allotted Udaipur as an exam centre had opted for the same as per his NEET application records.

 

Check below a state-wise indicator of candidates registered for NEET 2018 -

Image-3

 

About NEET 2018 Exam Languages

In a first, NEET 2018 was held in a record 11 languages this year thanks to the inclusion of Urdu to the list originally comprising English and Hindi in addition to Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. The number of candidates registering for NEET in each language in 2018 and 2017 can be seen below.

 

Language-wise candidates in NEET 2018 vs. 2017

S. No.

Language

NEET 2018 total candidates

NEET 2017 total candidates

1

English

10,60,923

9,13,033

2

Hindi

1,46,542

1,20,663

3

Gujarati

57,299

47,853

4

Marathi

1169

978

5

Oriya

279

452

6

Bengali

27,437

34,417

7

Assamese

3848

3810

8

Telugu

1979

1766

9

Tamil

24,720

15,206

10

Kannada

818

712

11

Urdu

1711

-

Total

13,26,725

11,38,890

As expected, registrations in almost every language increased keeping with the overall increase in registrations. However, Bengali and Oriya surprisingly recorded  a steep drop in the number of registrations as compared to last year. While 34,417 out of the 44,139 candidates who had registered from West Bengal last year had opted for Bengali as a language option, this year the number fell to 27,437 despite the number of registrations from the state rising to 59,390. Similarly, in the case of Odisha, 452 out of the 29,475 registered candidates had opted for Oriya as a language option last year. This fell to 279 despite the number of candidates in Odisha rising to 32,522.

 

The calls to introduce Urdu, as repeatedly promulgated by the Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) last year, seem to have paid clear dividends for NEET aspirants this year, with more candidates opting to appear in the language than in Marathi, Oriya and Kannada.

 

The number of candidates appearing for NEET in English has remained the highest among all languages, with 9,13,033 registering last year and 10,60,923 registering this year.

 

About NEET 2018 Dress Code

Despite clear strict guidelines being issued time and again by the CBSE, this year’s NEET was once again plagued by controversies revolving around the enforcement of the dress code rules. With media reports circulating around various incidents of female candidates being made to undergo particularly severe hardships before being able to enter their NEET exam centres across the country, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) decided to step in this year and issued notices to the CBSE and the Tamil Nadu Government asking for detailed reports over these incidents.

 

As per the CBSE however, all candidates were repeatedly sent messages regarding the dress code and other NEET rules and regulations. With every candidate being sent an individual SMS, a total of nearly 1.33 crore SMSes were sent between the closing of registrations and the exam day. Similarly, more than 1 lakh SMSes and 30,000 emails were sent to the exam centres regarding these issues so that the exam could be conducted smoothly.

 

NEET 2018 statistical highlights

  • Pens, numbering more than 13 lakh were provided to all the candidates at the exam centres.

  • Over 2,00,000 persons were deputed by the participating schools to help in the conduct of the exam.

  • Close to 15,000 police personnel were deployed by various State Police Departments.

  • A capacity building programme through web radio was organized for staff at all 2255 centres with regard to exam conducting preparations.

  • Nearly 12,000 metal detectors were used across all centres for the frisking process.

  • Communication jammers were installed at all 2255 centres to prevent cheating.

  • 3700 videographers were involved in recording the exam across all the centres.

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