LAHORE: As many as 11,094 candidates, including 7319 were females and 3775 males, appeared for the medical colleges’ entrance test in the three centres set up by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore on Tuesday.
The test started at 09:00am and concluded at 11:30am according to the schedule despite heavy downpour in some of the cities including Lahore. All the centres were locked at 08:15am sharp and no one was allowed to enter after that.
The candidates stated that the arrangement made by the UHS and the provincial government were satisfactory. No untoward incident was reported during the course of the test.
“The arrangements are surprisingly better than what I had heard from my friends who appeared for the test last year,” said Salman Aslam, who took the test at the UET, Lahore.
Shazia Sarfraz, who appeared for the test at the Lawrence Road centre, said that the supervisory staff was very considerate. About the exam, she said that all questions were from the textbooks and nothing included in the test was out of course. The provincial government had made arrangements for the security of the examination centres. Bomb disposal squads were also made available at the centres to counter any untoward incident.
Besides, close circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were installed at all the centres. There were separate arrangements for the disabled students, parking and waiting-area facilities for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at all centres.
The Lahore commissioner, Khusro Pervez Khan, and a member of the chief minister’s inspection team, Aftab Habib, along with other senior officials visited the examination centres in Lahore to monitor the arrangements.
Fawad Hassan Fawad, the health secretary, said that the UHS had taken appropriate measures to make sure that the test was conducted in a transparent manner. “There was no cheating incident reported from any of the test centres across the province.”
Talking to media, the UHS vice-chancellor, Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar said that the UHS had ensured that the candidates did not copy answers from one another.
He said that the tests would be marked in a transparent manner and that the seats at the medical colleges will be filled solely on the basis of merit.He further said that medical colleges’ admission tests were compulsory across the world, in developed as well as developing countries. He mentioned that Iran, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka also conducted similar entrance tests.
“The marks obtained by candidates in various education boards across the province are not a standardised measure of their abilities. It is therefore important to let all of them go through a comprehensive test. This ensures justice, equity, merit and transparency is in place,” he maintained.
The chief minister had appointed divisional commissioners and senior government officials as regional coordinators and monitoring officers to ensure that the tests were conducted without any glitches.
The 31,602 candidates who appeared for the test would compete for 3,361 seats including 3,145 MBBS and 216 BDS seats in 15 medical colleges (including four newly established colleges at Gujranwala, Sialkot, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal) and three dental colleges in the public sector. In addition to the public colleges, there are 1,200 MBBS seats in 12 private medical colleges and 400 BDS seats in eight private dental colleges in the province.
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Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2010.
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