New Delhi: Navdeep Singh from Punjab has topped the prestigious National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 for admission to MBBS and BDS courses, results of which were declared by CBSE today.

The second and third ranks were bagged by Madhya Pradesh’s Archit Gupta and Manish Mulchandani, respectively. Archit had also secured the second rank in the AIIMS entrance examination.

Girls outnumbered boys in qualifying the test with a total of 3,45,313 girls clearing it against 2,66,221 boys.

Singh, who hails from Muktsar in Punjab, scored a percentile of 99.99 with 697 marks out of total 720. The 18- year-old, whose father is a government school principal, wants to pursue MBBS in Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, one of India’s premier medical institutions. “I was confident of clearing the exam but not bagging the top rank," the topper, who has studied in Muktsar’s Shivalik Public School, told PTI.

A total of 11,38,890 students had appeared for the exam. Of these, 6,11,539 passed the test which was held on May 7.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had on June 12 set in motion the process for declaring the result of NEET-2017 after the Supreme Court gave its go-ahead. On May 24, the apex court stayed an interim order of the Madras High Court, which had restrained the CBSE from publishing the result.

A total of 9.13 lakh students took the test in English medium while 1.20 lakh opted for Hindi. This was the first time that Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and foreigners were allowed to take the exam.

According to information available on the Medical Council of India (MCI) website, 470 medical colleges have approximately 65,170 seats for MBBS; in 308 dental colleges, nearly 25,730 seats in BDS are available. CBSE had deployed 490 officials at centres spread across 103 cities. Last year, the first, the exam was conducted in only 52 cities.