Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India (A Reuters file photo)REUTERS

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the central government's appeal to scrap the first phase of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 1. The Centre had moved an urgent plea in the court seeking permission to allow state governments and private colleges to conduct exams for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices AR Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and AK Goel had, on Thursday, ruled that NEET 2016 will be conducted in two phases, with the first scheduled for May 1 and second for July 24.

However, the Centre told the court if examinations were conducted according to the new rules, students already taking the medical entrance examinations in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, will be left in a state of confusion and come under pressure, the Hindu reported.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the central government was "worried about the next generation of doctors." The Centre had said the second phase will be conducted according to the schedule.

"We have passed our order. Let the exams go on," the Hindustan Times quoted Justice Dave as saying while rejecting the Centre's plea.

The state governments and medical colleges had, on Thursday, reportedly opposed Supreme Court's ruling on NEET stating it was too late to change the examination format now. 

The Supreme Court bench had made the decisions based on recommendations from the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI), allowing students who did not apply for All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) to take NEET in the second phase, the Press Trust of India reported.

The results will be declared on Aug. 17 and the admission procedure should be completed by Sept. 30, the court had ruled. All examinations that have been conducted or scheduled to be held have to be scrapped under the rules of NEET, which is a common entrance test for admission to all deemed universities, and government and private institutions.

Thursday's ruling was opposed by Tamil Nadu's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M Karunanidhi and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss, according to the Hindu

Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, and the Association of Karnataka Medical Colleges and Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore also raised objections.