[Representational image]Reuters

The Union Cabinet on Friday reportedly cleared an ordinance that would postpone the implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a common medical entrance examination for medical and dental courses, for one year. The first phase of the exam was conducted on May 1 and the second was scheduled for July 24.

The announcement was made after the meeting of the Cabinet ministers on Friday morning. The Centre will send the approved ordinance to President Pranab Mukherjee who will issue the executive order, the Hindu reported.

The Supreme had, on April 28, asked the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) to conduct the first phase of NEET. It later agreed to hear petitions by state governments and private medical colleges who were against implementing NEET for the academic year 2016-17.

However, the apex court rejected their pleas on May 9 and said the entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses will be conducted only under NEET. It also allowed the students who appeared for NEET-1 to take the tests during the second phase if they had doubts about their performance in the first. Nearly 6.5 lakh students had taken NEET-1.

The Centre had to take the matters in hand when the state governments prassurised it against following Supreme Court's order and holding NEET in 2016-17, as some of them had either conducted or were preparing to hold entrance tests on state level.

While CBSE conducts All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT), some states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir hold separate entrance exams.