Counselling for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 has been deferred and is expected to start by the end of July, according to a report by news agency PTI.

Earlier, the counselling session was expected to begin in the first week of this month. However, the date has not been notified yet.

In June, the Supreme Court had refused to defer the counselling process after a petition had sought a direction to pause the process for two days.

The process of issuing permission letters to some medical colleges was still underway and additional seats were likely to be added, said the PTI report citing sources.

“The date of counselling will be announced once the exercise gets over to ensure seats of the new colleges can be taken up in the first round itself,” an official source told PTI.

Amid calls for cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 over alleged irregularities and question paper leaks, the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) had told the Supreme Court on Friday that scrapping it without any proof of large-scale breach of confidentiality would be counterproductive as it could “seriously jeopardise” lakhs of honest candidates.

The Centre has filed an affidavit on a batch of petitions pending before the SC seeking direction to recall NEET-UG 2024 results and conduct the examination afresh.

The education 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.

In an affidavit in the SC, NTA had 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 court was also informed that a high-level panel has been set up to suggest measures for effective, smooth, and transparent conduct of the examinations by the NTA.

The SC will hear the cases on July 8.