It is true that the number of students writing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) are increasing every year. The data from the National Testing Agency shows that, among them, the proportion of CBSE students is on the rise.

The year 2023 saw a 16 per cent rise in the number of people who wrote NEET, compared to 2022. A whopping 20.38 lakh students wrote the exam this year. The number was just 6.58 lakh in 2013 when NEET was conducted for the first time in the country.

Creeping rise

What is interesting to note here is the number of CBSE students who have been writing the exam. This year, 5.51 lakh CBSE students wrote NEET which is 27 per cent of all the candidates who wrote the exam. Four years back, in 2019, they were just 23 per cent. Among the 2023 NEET candidates, after the CBSE comes the Maharashtra Board with 2.57 lakh students writing the exam. This, however, is less than half the number of total CBSE candidates. The Maharashtra Board is followed by the Karnataka Board with 1.22 lakh candidates.

Surprisingly, the Tamil Nadu board comes next with 1.13 lakh candidates. Despite the anti-NEET protests in the state, the number of TN board students writing the exam has been increasing since 2020. In 2021, a committee formed by the Tamil Nadu government said that NEET will take the State back to its pre-independence days and asked the centre to eliminate it. However, since 2020, the proportion of TN board students among the overall number of NEET candidates has been narrowing. In 2023, they were 5.6 per cent of the total number of candidates.<SU>It used to be 7.7 per cent in 2019, which came down to 6 per cent in 2020.