LAHORE, Sept 23: Some 36,098 or so candidates -- 11,110 male and 24,988 female -- took up on Sunday the entrance test for admission to medical and dental colleges in Punjab amid tight security.

The test was conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) simultaneously at 20 centres set up in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Hassan Abdal.

The candidates who appeared in the test would compete for 3,305 MBBS and 216 BDS seats in 16 public sector medical and three dental colleges, respectively. Besides, there are 3,050 MBBS seats available with 28 private sector medical colleges and 715 BDS seats in 12 private dental colleges of the province.

In Lahore, Divisional Commissioner Jawad Rafiq Malik, District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal and other senior officials monitored the arrangements for a total of 7,491 female and 3,017 male candidates who appeared in the test at three centres; at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls at Lawrence Road where 1,149 female and 3,017 male candidates appeared, at the Punjab University examination halls at Wahdat Road where 4,800 female candidates turned up and at the Government Comprehensive Girls High School at Wahdat Road where 1,542 female candidates appeared.

In Rawalpindi, some 5,928 candidates appeared in the test. The number of candidates in Multan was 5,359, Faisalabad 3,371, Gujranwala 2,764, Bahawalpur 1,526, Sargodha 1,369, Sahiwal 1,517, Gujrat 1,288, Muzaffargarh 1,154, Rahim Yar Khan 933 while in Hassan Abdal 381 candidates appeared in the test.

No untoward incident was reported from any centre during the course of the test and the candidates and parents expressed their satisfaction on the arrangements made by UHS and the provincial government.

After the test, UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof IA Naveed told newsmen that a scientific and sophisticated method had been adopted to maintain the secrecy of the examination papers and whole process of the test. He made it clear once again that admission to medical colleges would be purely on merit.

Prof Naveed said medical college admission test was compulsory across the world, both in developed and developing countries.

“An estimated one million candidates are expected to appear in a single common entry test for admission to 355 medical and 29 dental colleges of India from next session.

“The marks obtained by candidates in various education boards across Punjab are not a standardized measure of their abilities. It is important to let all of them go through a comprehensive test. This ensures justice, equity, merit and transparency are in place,” the vice-chancellor maintained.

Meanwhile, the UHS uploaded the answer keys to the question papers of different colour codes on its website www.uhs.edu.pk. With the help of these keys, candidates can calculate their scores themselves. The official result will be announced in the first week of October.

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