By now we're sure the congratulatory messages and calls have all sunk in for this year's NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) topper Soyeb Aftab. But where does that leave All India 2nd ranker, Akanksha Singh?

The girl, from Uttar Pradesh who also scored perfect 720 marks, has been left out of the applause and limelight that uniquely comes only to a topper.

NEET toppers
Akanksha Singh and Soyeb Aftab. Pic@Twitter

As per the national testing agency NEET'S tie-breaker policy, the candidate older in age will be given preference over a candidate younger in age. The tie-breaking policy also includes factors such as subject-wise marks, number of incorrect answers in the written exam, as per NEET officials.

NEET'S Tie-breaking policy and how it works

For example, if the same marks have been scored by more than one candidate, then the one who scored higher marks in Botany and Zoology combined will be given preference. If there's still a tie than the one who gave a lesser number of wrong answers in the NEET exam, will be given preference. And just in case, if there are still two contenders, then the one older in age will be picked up over the one younger in age.

Students take a university entrance examination at a lecture hallReuters

Netizens don't really agree with the 'Tie Breaking' Policy
Social media was quick to ask, shouldn't it in fact be the other way round? While some put forward the classic, Ladies First theory, there were others offering all positive congratulations, "More power to you for vacating first rank for older citizen of equal calibre," wrote a user.

But no denying that both of them are first rankers in their own right. Although, many questioned the age rule in ranking. Ideally the one younger should come first if it is determination of calibre we are talking about.

When age determined the number and the rank

Akanksha belongs to Kushinagar in UP and would travel 70kms to her coaching institute which was at Gorakhpur. After passing Class X, she shifted to Delhi. While Odisha's Soyeb wants to find a cure for heart diseases, Kushinagar's Akanksha wants to be a doctor after passing out of the prestigious AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences).

Lack of big coaching institute in a small town wasn't a roadblock at all. Each year, invariably, India's toppers bring along some inspiring stories of stumbling blocks and steely will.