LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has approved new admission policy for medical and dental institutions of the province for session 2011-12.
According to the new policy, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) shall this year conduct combined entrance test for both streams of candidates — FSc and non-FSc — on September 13, 2011 at 24 centres in 12 major cities of the province.
Last year, the entrance test was held on July 20, 2010, on open application basis, immediately after FSc examinations.
“There shall be common entrance test for both FSc and non-FSc candidates which shall be designed by ensuring that the question paper is prepared ‘from common core knowledge’ of the syllabi,” the documents available with Dawn said. It means that the paper shall be set in a way that no question shall be out of course of any syllabus or textbook, for both FSc or non-FSc candidates.
A summary regarding the new admission policy was furnished by the Punjab health department in the context of recommendations made by the Admission Board constituted by the provincial government.
Later, a high-level committee headed by Punjab chief minister’s senior advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa reviewed the new recommendations in a meeting held at CM’s Secretariat on July 8.
The committee held deliberations on major issues of public importance and finalised the new admission policy to recommend to the CM for final consideration.
The documents said the candidates who have passed FSc pre-medical or equivalent examination such as A-Level or 12th grade with at least 60 per cent marks would be eligible to apply for entrance test.
It should be mandatory for any candidate to appear in the entrance test for admission in any public or private sector medical and dental colleges of the province.
The candidates having domicile of any district of Punjab, Federal Capital area (Islamabad) Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan can appear in the entrance test in Punjab. As per Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) decision there shall be no maximum or minimum age limit for applying for entrance test.
The entrance test shall consist of one paper containing 220 multiple choice questions (MCQs), divided into four sections — Physics (44 MCQs), Chemistry (58 MCQs), English (30 MCQs) and Biology (88 MCQs).
For the last 12 years the entrance test question paper has been containing 60 MCQs of physics, 60 Chemistry, 30 English and 70 MCQs of Biology.
Keeping in view the special requirements of medical education, the entrance test has been modified by the UHS for session 2011-12 with the approval of the Admission Board consisting of vice-chancellors and principals of all public sector medical and dental colleges.
More emphasis has been placed on bio-medical sciences and topics not relevant to medical education have been excluded to lessen the burden on the candidates.
The UHS, in the light of chief minister’s directions, prepared the new syllabus for entrance test 2011-12 which has been made
available on its website since September 2010.
The application form shall be available at all public sector medical and dental colleges of Punjab from August 20 to September 7. The candidates can submit forms as per schedule to be advertised soon by the UHS.
According to the PMDC Regulations 2010, the merit for admissions shall be worked out by adding the marks of matriculation, intermediate and entrance test in the new ‘weightage formula’ under which the merit shall be calculated by adding 10 per cent marks of matriculation, 40 per cent of FSc and 50 per cent of the entrance test marks obtained by the candidates.
According to the previous admission formula, intermediate marks were given the weightage of 70 per cent whereas the entrance test was given 30 per cent with no weightage to matriculation marks at all.
The new formula is being introduced in the compliance with the directions of Supreme Court and Lahore High Court which make it binding for the provincial government to follow the regulations of the PMDC with regard to medical and dental education.
The self-scoring system introduced by the UHS in 2009 shall continue this year and candidates shall be able to calculate their own score with the help of carbon copies of their response forms which they will be allowed to keep after the test.
The UHS shall release the answer keys of the question paper on its website very next day of the examination.
As per the new policy, the provisional merit list of all the candidates who will appear in the entrance test will be displayed by the UHS on October 6, 2011.
According to this list, top 3,500 candidates shall apply for admission against 3,017 (2,842 for MBBS and 175 for BDS) open merit seats. They shall apply on prescribed forms from October 10 to October 20 at the UHS.
The first selection list for MBBS shall be displayed on October 30, 2011 and classes in medical and dental colleges shall start on November 21 this year.
According to the new policy it has been declared compulsory that the first selection list of BDS shall be displayed at least four weeks after the selection list for MBBS. The decision was taken when principals of some dental institutions pointed out that in 2010-11 admissions of almost all the students admitted to BDS at Dental Section, Punjab Medial College and Nishtar Institute of Dentistry were later upgraded to MBBS in medical colleges.
“This bulk exodus results in duplication of clerical and administrative work of joining/transfer, wastage of faculty efforts, teaching hours and financial resources. Practically, in these colleges almost whole of the admitted batches were replaced by new ones at later stages of up-gradation,” the documents quoting new policy said.
The UHS has also decided to organise orientation seminars to guide the students aspiring to appear in the entrance test this year in different cities of the province.
The first seminar in this connection will be held on August 5 at Al-Hamra Arts Council which shall be organised by the UHS itself.