LAHORE: As many as 45,156 candidates – 30,575 women and 14,581 men – sat the entrance examination for medical and dental colleges in the Punjab on Sunday. The examination, conducted by the University of Health Sciences Lahore, was conducted simultaneously in 13 cities in the province amid tight security. Last year, 41,677 candidates took the test.
Despite tensions at Constitution Avenue, Islamabad, more than 5,000 candidates from Rawalpindi appeared in four examination centres set up on 6th Road, Rawalpindi.
The test began at 9am at 25 centres in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, DG Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Hasan Abdal. Candidates were seen queuing outside the centres as early as 6am.
Heavy police contingents were deployed at the centres to prevent any disruptions to the examination. Ambulances and fire brigades were on standby at the centres in case of an emergency. Surveillance cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were also installed at all centres. Arrangements were made to facilitate disabled students, and parking and waiting areas established for the candidates’ parents. Back-up power generators were provided at most of the centres.
Candidates and their parents expressed satisfaction over the arrangements. Several parents in the waiting rooms were seen praying for their children’s success. No untoward incidents were reported.
In Lahore, Health Services Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Population Director General Qaisar Saleem, Board of Revenue Members Javed Nisar Syed, Hassan Raza Jafari, Malik Ahmed Ali and Tariq Mehmood Khan, Revenue Additional Commissioner Asif Iqbal and District Coordination Officer Capt (r) Muhammad Usman were among the senior officials that monitored the arrangements at the six centres established in the city. A total 9,198 women and 4,176 men sat the test in the city; 3,400 women candidates sat the test at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls on Lawrence Road, 4,000 women and 800 men candidates sat the test at the Punjab University examination halls on Wahdat Road, 1,542 women candidates took the test at the Government Comprehensive Girls High School and 1,970 men candidates at Government Central Model School Lower Mall; 1,170 men took the test at the University of Education, Lower Mall, and 256 women and 236 men candidates sat their test at the Government Pilot High School, Wahdat Road.
In Rawalpindi, 5,721 candidates sat the entrance test. The number of candidates who took the test in Multan was 6,575, 4,423 took the test in Faisalabad, 2,671 candidates in Gujranwala, 2,051 candidates in Bahawalpur, 1,845 candidates in Sargodha, 2,281 in Sahiwal, 1,377 students sat the test in Gujrat, 1,426 in DG Khan, 1,261 in Rahim Yar Khan, 646 in Hasan Abdal and 1,505 candidates appeared in the test conducted in Sialkot.
UHS Vice Chancellor Maj Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam said the most brilliant students in the country opted to study medicine and dentistry. He said these students demanded a system that was duly challenging, robust and fair.
“The UHS has tried to make the process well structured and transparent… the process is reviewed regularly to ensure that only suitable and capable candidates are admitted,” he said. The UHS is committed to providing all candidates equal opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for the MBBS and BDS programmes, he said.
Professor Aslam said entrance to medical and dental professions was based on the principles of merit, justice, equity and transparency.
The UHS has uploaded the answer keys to question papers of different colour codes on its website www.uhs.edu.pk. Candidates can use these keys to calculate their scores. The official result will be announced in 10 days.
Candidates who score 82 per cent or more, in accordance with the formula for Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, will opt for colleges of their choice by submitting admission forms from September 23 to October 2. Forms and prospectuses will be available free of cost from UHS, Lahore, Nishter Medical College, Multan, and Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi. The first selection list for medical colleges will be displayed on October 30.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2014.