More than 50,000 candidates appeared for one of India's biggest medical entrance tests - the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT) 2016 - on 1 May.
Going forward, the medical aspirants will soon appear for other entrance exams. But the tussle between the centre, the Supreme Court and the states over the NEET has left many medical aspirants perplexed. Will there be an NEET? If yes, how will it be executed this year?
Online discussion forums such as Facebook and Quora are filled with NEET queries, with some aspirants expressing happiness while many others seem to be unhappy with the SC's decision.
What is the NEET?
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) has been reintroduced under the 'one nation, one exam' philosophy.
The NEET, which will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), is a single-window entrance examination held for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses.
The NEET aims to get rid of multiple state and private medical exams, by replacing them with a single common entrance test.
Here's a closer look at the arguments in favour of, and the ones against the NEET.
Arguments in favour of the NEET
Speaking to Catch, Nishank Saxena from Allen Career Institute Kota said, "It doesn't matter which exam it is - NEET or AIPMT or AIIMS. All the exams have the same syllabus and hence require same exam strategy. So candidates should just focus on cracking the exam. We keep telling the children, it's just the name of the exam which is changing. Nothing else"
Why is there opposition against the NEET?
A number of states are opposed to the NEET. Here are the chief reasons why:
A parent of a medical aspirant, who did not wish to be named, told Catch, "Exams like NEET, AIPMT and AIIMS have a similar difficulty level. However, the same cannot be said of state-level and other medical entrance tests".
"Candidates targeting the AIPMT will be able to crack the NEET easily. But state or regional students may face difficulties. Moreover, their medium of study is not English, the language of the state. Altogether, the NEET could be a difficult proposition for state-level student," the parent said.