Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) will be held afresh on November 19 by Khyber Medical University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Health Secretary Mahmood Aslam Wazir told Dawn that a letter was sent to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) wherein November 19 was proposed as date to conduct MDCAT again. He said that as per the decision of provincial cabinet, the test would be re-conducted by Khyber Medical University (KMU).
PMDC, the regulator of medical education in the country, has been informed through a letter sent on October 10 that the provincial government has cancelled MDCAT and directed the KMU to re-conduct it fairly and transparently.
On October 9, Peshawar High Court (PHC) issued a judgment, directing PMDC to notify date to provincial government for re-conducting the test within six weeks. 46,612 candidates, who appeared in MDCAT last time, will not have to pay fee
According to the letter, KMU will not receive fee from already registered candidates for MDCAT 2023 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It says that KMU will appreciate PMDC if its Islamabad-based officials monitor. KMU has also assured compliance with the MDC’s admission policy as defined in regulations 2023.
On October 4, a separate letter sent by provincial higher education, archives and library department to the executive director of Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (Etea) and vice-chancellor of KMU in the light of PHC’s decision, says that MDCAT conducted on September 10 has been cancelled and will be re-taken within six weeks to ensure timely admission to medical institutions.
It said that the decision had been taken in the meeting of caretaker provincial cabinet held on September 28 and KMU was tasked to hold a fair and transparent test in accordance with the codal formalities for which the government would provide security through police and district administration.
The higher education department (HED) will constitute a committee comprising officials of all stakeholder departments including IT experts and officials of educational revamping and improving the testing mechanism and secrecy of Etea.
It recommended strict action against all planners and perpetrators involved in the cheating scam in line with the prevailing law and rules.
The letter instructed that cabinet’s decisions in that regard must be implemented in letter and spirit within the stipulated period.
The test, conducted by Etea on September 10, triggered a major controversy as scores of candidates were arrested for using modern electronic gadgets for cheating and alleged use of unfair means, which tainted the test.
PHC stopped KMU and Etea on Sept 15 from uploading results of the test on their websites until further orders while the government constituted a seven-member joint investigation team to probe irregularities in the test.
The provincial cabinet on September 28 also decided to cancel the test and re-conduct it through KMU. PHC upheld the decision. The cabinet’s decision came after the JIT revealed massive cheating in the test.
Similarly, several candidates, who obtained high marks in MDCAT, had filed petitions, requesting court not to cancel the test and direct the respondents, including PMDC, KMU and Etea, to declare results of the test.
However, after PHC’s verdict, the KMU is awaiting green signal from the PMDC, regulator of medical education in the country, to re-conduct the test. The KMU has been conducting MDCAT in the past too. Authorities in
The KMU administration said that it was ready as told by provincial government to conduct the test again. “We have made all arrangements. In routine we conduct tests every week, such as KMU CAT almost for the same strength of 40,000. We conduct semester examinations for 64,000 students across our 210 institutions,” it added.
According to data, 46,612 candidates had appeared in MDCAT in 43 halls in 11 cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They wouldn’t pay fee for re-appearance in the test.