Medical and dental colleges have decided to relax their criteria for admissions in the upcoming academic year. According to the new rules, candidates must obtain at least 33 per cent marks in the entry tests to be considered for admission - half of the 66 per cent minimum score required last year.
There is further leniency in the requirements for appearing in entry tests as well, permitting students who have obtained 65 per cent marks in the Intermediate science group annual examinations to sit for the test. Last year, only students who had obtained 70 per cent or higher in these examinations were allowed to take the entry tests.
As a result of this minimum requirement last year, the admission process in many medical and dental colleges could not be completed, with the Balochistan government raising objections to the 70 per cent criteria that had been set by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
The Balochistan government had claimed that it was an underdeveloped province, where many students were disadvantaged and could not obtain 70 per cent marks. It, therefore, called for more flexible criteria, seeking the minimum score for appearing in entry tests to be set at 65 per cent. As a result, the PMDC decided to lower its criteria.
According to the PMDC, written entry tests for medical and dental programmes will be held from September 15 to October 15, with every province bound to organise the test within this time period.
Admissions at Sindh's medical and dental colleges are planned to begin under a uniform policy this month after the results for the Intermediate science examinations are announced. However, the admissions process can only be started if the results are announced on time.
It should be noted that with the coronavirus pandemic, Intermediate examinations could not be held this year and results are to be issued without the usual examinations. Last week, at a meeting of the provincial education department's steering committee, it was revealed that the results for Grade 11 and 12 students would be announced on September 30, with the mark sheets to be issued a week later.
With these delays, the admissions process is expected to be completed by December at the earliest.
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