The Supreme Court has paved the way for aspiring medical students to take the common entrance test for admission into medical courses this academic year. The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test will be held in two phases, on May 1 and July 4, ANI reported, for admission for the academic year 2016-'17. The Centre and CBSE on Thursday had proposed a schedule for NEET, in which they said test could be held in two phases and the results would be annouced by the end of August, ANI said.

The Ministry of Health, along with the Medical Council of India and Central Board of Secondary Education, had decided to hold the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test in 2016-'17 following an earlier Supreme Court directive.

The stakeholders had earlier told the court that it was too late to hold a common test for medical courses for the current academic year since students have already filled out forms for various exams, some of which have been conducted. The court was informed that students need to be notified about the test in any academic year by December of the preceding year. However, the court said that if the Health Ministry mobilised its resources and worked in tandem with the MCI and CBSE, it could be made possible.

On April 11, the apex court recalled a 2013 judgment that had declared NEET “illegal” and “unconstitutional” on the ground that it interfered with the right of private, minority and linguistic institutions to admit students.