The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Ministry of Health and Medical Council of India to respond to several pleas filed by students and state governments against holding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test this year. The matter will be heard next on Thursday. Several states and thousands of students on Tuesday will await the Supreme Court’s verdict on NEET, after it had ordered it be held for admissions to postgraduate medical courses this year.

Petitions were filed by students as well as some state governments, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, against conducting NEET for the 2016-2017 academic year. The apex court on Saturday had denied pleas by students, a day before the first phase of the test was held.

The court had quashed a 2013 verdict of its own that did not allow the common medical entrance test – which it termed illegal – and ruled for the test to be held this year, in two phases. State governments have urged the apex court to allow them to conduct their own entrance tests instead. Students have also rejected the move, especially those who appeared for the May 1 exam, citing that those who had not applied for the All India Pre-Medical Test (that was to be held on May 1) will get more time to study. Those who had not applied for the AIPMT will now be included in the second phase of NEET. The second test will be held on July 24.

Members in the Lok Sabha also criticised the Supreme Court's NEET verdict on Monday. NEET applies to admissions for all undergraduate medical and dentistry courses in the country. The Supreme Court’s move was reportedly aimed at streamlining the admission process into medical colleges in the country. During proceedings in April, the apex court was told the government would have had to give a notification for the admission test by December the preceding year.