Priya and Priyanka Paleri
Dubai twins Priya (left) and Priyanka Paleri (right) are celebrating their admission to IIT Madras Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Two identical twin sisters from India schooled in Dubai have been accepted into one of India’s top engineering institutes after acing their high school board exam as well their college entrance test.

Priya and Priyanka Paleri, who both graduated from Our Own English High School in Dubai (Al Warqa’a campus) earlier this year, have secured admission to top-rated Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), recognised as an institute of “National Importance”.

Priyanka, in a phone call from Calicut in the Indian state of Kerala where she and Priya are spending time with family before starting college in December, told Gulf News: “I’m someone who does not have expectations, so this came as a really good piece of news.”

The sisters, who passed India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – with Priya’s overall 99 per cent and Priyanka’s 98.8 per cent – have both enrolled for mechanical engineering at IITM.

Priya said: “Personally, I was relieved that they did not put 100 per cent weightage on Grade 12 results because I did better in Grade 10 and 11 than I did in Grade 12. I was counting on [CBSE Grade 12] boards to make up for my performance this year, so with that cancelled, I was happy that they are taking our previous results into consideration.”

‘Toughest exams in the world’

The sisters had joined Ascentria-PACE for JEE [Joint Entrance Examination] training in Grade 11 in 2019. They were enrolled into the JEE batch 2019-21.

Alka Malik

Alka Malik, managing director of Ascentria-PACE, said: “Both sat the JEE Main, qualified to write the JEE Advanced, the top 10 toughest exams in the world, and the only route to gain admission into the most prestigious engineering institutes of India – the IITs [Indian Institutes of Technology].”

Malik added that less than one per cent of students who write the JEE Main gain admission into an IIT, which has around 10,000 seats across 23 institutes.

Passing the tests

At the JEE Main 2021, for which over 1.4 million students applied, only 10 per cent qualified to write the second phase of the examination – JEE Advanced – and the Paleri sisters were among those who made it through.

At the 2021 JEE Advanced held in UAE, Priyanka was one of the toppers among girls. Her ‘All India Rank’ stood at 5255. She came in eight in KEAM (Kerala Engineering Architecture Medical Exam).

She is also her school’s third-place topper.

Priya also was also amongst the girls with top scores in the 2021 JEE Main held in the UAE. For the JEE Advanced All India Rank, she stood at 5734. Priya is her school’s second-topper.

‘Delighted but not surprised’

Malik said: “We are delighted, but not surprised, by the results. The two sisters have been self-motivated and demonstrated determination, perseverance and focus throughout their two years of preparation with us.”