The counselling process for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET UG) 2024 has been deferred till further notice, official sources said.

The development comes after the Supreme Court refused to delay the NEET UG counselling scheduled to start on July 6.

Meanwhile. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the NEET-UG row and said that the future of lakhs of youth is simply unsafe in their hands.

“The whole NEET-UG issue is getting worse by the day. The non-biological PM and his biological Education Minister are adding further proof to their demonstrated incompetence and insensitivity. The future of lakhs of our youth is simply unsafe in their hands,” the Congress leader posted on X.

The Central government has told the Supreme Court that, in the absence of any proof of a large-scale breach of confidentiality in the NEET-UG 2024 examination, it would not be rational to scrap the entire examination.

Scrapping the NEET-UG exam held on May 5 entirely would “seriously jeopardize” the lakhs of honest candidates who attempted the question paper in 2024, said the Ministry of Education.

The Centre has filed an affidavit on a batch of petitions pending before the apex court seeking direction to recall NEET-UG 2024 results and conduct the examination afresh, alleging paper leakage and malpractices in the test held.

The Supreme Court will hear the cases on July 8.

Responding to the petitions, the Ministry said that prayers raised in the petitions for the cancellation of the exam and the re-test based on “surmises” and “conjectures” must be rejected.

It also informed the apex court that a high-level committee has been constituted to suggest measures for effective, smooth, and transparent conduct of the examinations by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Meanwhile, NTA has also filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing the cancellation of the NEET-UG exam and said that the alleged malpractices were only in Patna and Godhra centers and that the entire exam should not be canceled based on individual instances.

The sanctity of NEET-UG cannot be impeached by sporadic instances of alleged paper leaks, which are confined to a very small number of candidates, it said.

The NEET-UG examination, conducted by the NTA, is the pathway for admissions into MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is facing heat from the opposition following the irregularities during the conduct of the NEET-UG exam 2024

An unprecedented 67 students achieved a perfect score of 720 out of 720 marks, which led to chaos and several protests across the country.

The matter is in the hands of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). (ANI)