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LAHORE: As many as 83,142 candidates including 52,874 females and 30,268 males appeared in the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) which was conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Sunday.

The test started at 1100 hrs and went off peacefully at 25 centres set up in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, and D.G.Khan. Candidates started reaching their centres as early as 8 a.m. UHS had engaged the services of 5820 school and college teachers to perform duties as supervisory and invigilation staff whereas senior faculty members of the university were deputed as head couriers and couriers to conduct the test.

The vice-chancellors, principals, and senior faculty members of government medical institutions in relevant cities were deputed as regional in-charges to ensure successful conduct while officers of the Specialized Health Care and Medical Education department, divisional commissioners, and deputy commissioners in relevant districts monitored the arrangements. Section 144 was imposed to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons at the examination centres. All the centres were sealed at 10:30 am.

A large number of police personnel were deployed at the centres to prevent any disruption of the examination. Ambulances, medical teams, and fire brigades were also made available at the centres to counter any untoward incidents. Besides, closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, mobile phone jammers, and walk-through gates were installed at major centres. A physical search of the candidates was also conducted at the entry points. There were proper arrangements for the students with disabilities, parking, and waiting area facilities for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at some of the centres. For the biometric verification of candidates, NADRA mobile units were made available at all 25 centres.

In Lahore, a total of 18,876 female and 9487 male candidates appeared in the test at the Expo Centre Johar Town, Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls Lawrence Road, Punjab University examination halls Wahdat Road, Divisional Public School Model Town, Kinnaird College Jail Road, University of Education Township, and Lahore College for Women University Jail Road. Secretary Specialized Healthcare Punjab Dr. Ahmed Javed Qazi and UHS Vice Chancellor Prof. Ahsan Waheed Rathore visited various centres and monitored the arrangements.

In Multan, 17918 candidates appeared in the test. The number of candidates in Bahawalpur was 6624; Faisalabad 12106, Gujranwala 6985, Sialkot 3692, Sahiwal 4118, and D.G. Khan 3336 candidates appeared in the test.

Talking to the media at Expo Centre along with the officials of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and Punjab Health Department, UHS VC, Ahsan Waheed Rathore, said that the conduct of MDCAT was important as it would ensure merit and justice.

“We are aware of the hardship and agony these candidates and their parents have to face, especially today when Pakistan is facing England in T20 World Cup Final, yet to ensure justice and fair play, transparency of MDCAT is crucial”, he said.

He further said that new standard operating procedures were developed and fresh multi-tiered security measures were taken for every step of preparation, printing, packaging, and transportation of MDCAT paper.

UHS VC said that medical and dental colleges have always challenged the brightest and best-prepared minds. He added that admissions were consistently becoming more competitive.

“MDCAT results are extremely important. They carry 50 percent weightage in merit as per the formula of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC). They are proof that the candidate can handle the academic rigors of medical or dental college”. He thanked the Punjab government for its support in the smooth conduct of the test.

Later in the evening, UHS uploaded the answer key to the question paper on the Pakistan Medical Commission website. With the help of this key, candidates can calculate their scores themselves. The official result will be declared in a week after which the admission schedule will be announced. There shall be centralized admissions in both public colleges as per PMC Admission Regulations 2022-23.

There are 3376 MBBS seats in 16 public sector medical colleges and 240 BDS seats in 03 public dental colleges of Punjab. Besides, there are around 4500 MBBS and 825 BDS seats in 45 private sector medical and dental colleges of the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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