KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) recently postponed the medical and dental colleges admissions test (MDCAT) that was scheduled for October 18.
Petitioners’ lawyer Jibran Nasir took to twitter to announce the verdict. He tweeted, “Congrats to all prospective medical/dental students of Sindh. Hon Sindh High Court has postponed #Sindh #MDCAT taking place on 18th Oct on our petition till Federal & Provincial Govt resolve the controversy over PMC Act 2020.”
Nasir also praised the students for filing the petition without “worrying about any political repercussions” and to “safeguard” the interest of over 20,000 prospective medical and dental students in the province.
After hearing the arguments, a division bench of the SHC postponed the test until the resolution of the dispute between the federal and provincial governments over Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act 2020.
The pre-medical students had submitted in the petition that the on-going tussle over the admission policy criteria for medical and dental colleges and universities has led to confusion amongst the aspiring students who wanted to secure admissions to medical colleges and universities across the country.
The federal and Sindh governments had announced separate medical college and university admission policies which has left the fate of medical students hanging in the air, the petitioners complained.
They submitted that the federal and provincial governments’ committees for medical admissions had failed to provide information regarding the syllabi, criteria, and weightage of the national medical and dental colleges’ admissions test and the provincial test with absolute certainty and uniformity.
This uncertainty has not only caused them colossal losses in terms of time and money but also extreme mental and emotional distress about the start of their professional career.
They submitted that the federal and provincial governments were more interested in fighting for their respective political and executive powers as opposed to keeping the welfare of the petitioners and other students on priority.
They submitted that the federal and provincial governments had announced admission tests for medical colleges on October 18 and the second week of November under the newly introduced Pakistan Medical Commission Act and abolished the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
As per the decision of the provincial admission committee, the medical colleges and universities of Sindh had announced admission tests on October 18. However, after the abolition of the PMDC ordinance, the federal government announced holding medical admission tests all over the country by creating the PMC through an act of Parliament – which led to confusion amongst the pre-medical students in Sindh.
The petitioners requested the SHC to declare the medical college’s admission test on October 18 – as announced by the provincial admission committee – as per the PMDC Admissions Regulations 2020 without legal effect as the PMDC Ordinance 1962 had been repealed and the council was dissolved in virtue of the PMC Act.
The court was also requested to declare that the Sindh admissions committee in pursuance of the PMC Act had no lawful authority to determine the admissions criteria for private medical and dental universities and colleges in Sindh.
The petitioners appealed the court to direct the admissions committee to furnish the applicable syllabus and explain with clarity the admission criteria, the distribution or the balance weightage between any provincial test and FSC or High School equivalent results after the mandatory 50% weightage of the National MDCAT for admissions to the public medical and dental universities and colleges in Sindh.