National News

Court seeks clarification from PMC over new MDCAT date

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) recently issued a notice to Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on the announcement of the date of the Medical and Dental Admission Test (MDCAT)2020.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan heard an application seeking contempt proceedings against the commission for not complying with the high court’s decision in a case pertaining to the MDCAT.

Earlier, the commission had announced that it would conduct MDCAT on November 29 “upon compliance” with the SHC verdict. But petitioner’s lawyer Mohammad Jibran Nasir argued that by announcing a new date for the test without issuing a syllabus approved by the academic board, PMC had committed contempt of court.

Today, the bench approved the application and issued a notice to PMC seeking a response in November 24 hearing.

Cancelling the November 15 MDCAT exam, the SHC had underlined in its order that since the National Medical & Dental Academic Board had not been formed under the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020, the “MDCAT cannot be conducted”.

According to the court ruling, the Board will have “the powers to formulate the examination structure and standards for the MDCAT for approval of the Council”.

The SHC further criticised a notification issued October 23, 2020, by the PMC regarding the syllabus, in which it said candidates would have the option to mark any questions they believed were beyond the syllabus in an objection form to be provided at the examination centre, saying it “created uncertainty and gross confusion and perplexity in the minds of all applicants” and terming it “unreasonable and nonstandard”.

“This is quite a unique idea that every applicant will be provided objection form at the time of entering into the examination hall, so first he should be obliged to do audit exercise as to how many questions are out of his syllabus.

“Much time of the candidate would be lapsed and consumed to go through the entire question paper as an examiner and then filling the objection forms.

“No further mechanism has been provided in the above announcement as to how and when the students appearing in the MDCAT will come to know whether objections raised by them were considered and the question considered by them to be outside the identified syllabus have been removed from scoring or not.”

-MN Report

November 20, 2020

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