Hyderabad’s Mrinal Kutteri secured all-India rank 1 in the NEET-UG 2021 results declared on Monday, but what makes the achievement extra special is that he had also cracked the engineering entrance exam JEE.
“As physics and chemistry are common topics among both the papers, I appeared in the JEE exam just for practice. Unexpectedly, I was able to clear the exam with a decent score of 99.28 percentile and also qualified for JEE Advanced,” Mrinal shared. Ultimately, his love for biology has pushed him to opt for the medical profession.
The topper secured an all-India rank of 1028 in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Advanced 2021). Although he is ineligible to appear for counselling, the JEE success did boost his confidence for the target exam.
Meanwhile, he also cleared the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and would have pursued a career in genetics research if he had not cracked NEET.
A native of Telangana, Mrinal did his schooling in Hyderabad. He studied at Gitanjali Devshala School till Class 10 and completed Class 12 from Jain Heritage School. Simultaneously, he began preparation for NEET with Aakash Institute. His father is an HR consultant and his mother a software engineer. Mrinal will be the first in his family to pursue the medical profession.
“Till Class 8, I was more fascinated by chemicals and reactions, hence wanted to pursue chemical engineering. However, my inclination later shifted to biology and I decided to pursue both subjects together at the higher secondary level,” Mrinal told indianexpress.com.
Unlike other students, Mrinal says he did not study for 8-10 hours at a stretch to crack NEET, but took breaks. “I studied intently for short durations of about 45 minutes to one hour and took 10-15 minutes’ break thereafter. My parents and teachers supported my schedule and made sure I did not feel under pressure due to my different study method,” the topper shared.
On his preparations amid the pandemic, Mrinal said the lockdown period was helpful as no time was wasted on travel. He largely focused on Class 11 and 12 NCERT books as well as notes provided by his coaching institute. “I reduced interactions with friends in the last month before the NEET exam. But I did not cut myself off from the outside world,” he said.
Mrinal was sure he’d crack NEET, but wasn’t expecting to top the exam. “I wanted to join AIIMS Delhi to pursue MBBS. However, it seemed like a dream so I was mentally ready with alternate options. If not AIIMS, my second choice will be JIPMER, Pondicherry,” he revealed. While he hasn’t yet decided on the specialisation that he would eventually go for, Mrinal said he would like to pursue MS in future.