India has announced the results for the highly competitive entrance exam for engineering colleges — with at least 14 applicants scoring full marks.
More than 700,000 pupils sat the Joint Entrance Examination, conducted by the National Testing Agency.
The test is one of the most popular national entrance exams in the country for pupils aiming to graduate in engineering, technology, architecture and planning.
India, home to more than 6,000 government-approved engineering institutes, produces the world's largest numbers of engineers.
Engineering and technology draw almost 2.4 million students into various government and private institutes every year, according to the Ministry of Education.
The large number of applicants and limited places in government institutes lead to cut-throat competition.
The Joint Entrance Examination is divided into mains and advanced tests and is the gateway to some of the most prestigious colleges in the country ― including the famed Indian Institutes of Technology.
Less than 4 per cent of Joint Entrance Examination applicants succeed.
While other courses require school-leaving board results, along with entrance results, the result of the Joint Entrance Examination is the sole requirement for engineering-related admissions.
Allen Career Institute, one of the many private coaching institutions that prepare students for exams, said its student Sneha Pareek, from the north-eastern state of Assam, scored the top marks.
“I studied for around 12 to 13 hours daily and dedicated myself to JEE preparation more than the board exams,” Ms Pareek told local media.
“All the IITs are coveted and are represented by remarkable faculty, she said.
“Hence, I am willing to join any IIT that offers my desired course.”