LAHORE: Two elders of the medical fraternity have proposed holding of next Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) soon after conclusion of the FSc Part-II examinations ‘to curtail manipulation by commercial tuition academies’ in the process to select would-be physicians and surgeons.

Comprising Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar and Prof Amer Aziz, a sub-committee of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) drafted the proposal in the wake of rumours on social media regarding leakage of the question paper of this year’s MDCAT.

Prof Mubbashar is the founding vice chancellor of the UHS who initiated MDCAT while Prof Aziz pioneered training of orthopaedic spinal surgeons in the country.

According to the proposal, holding of MDCAT on the Sunday after conclusion of the pre-medical group intermediate part-II examination would leave no time for the commercial academies to hold entrance test preparation sessions and mint money.

Health experts suggest exam soon after FSc Part-II appearance

UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan told Dawn that the proposal would be forwarded to the Admission Board for medical and dental institutions of Punjab at an appropriate time.

“Comprising vice chancellors and principals of all the medical and dental education institutions in Punjab, only the Admission Board is empowered to decide the fate of the proposal… Whether or not to forward it to the competent authority for approval,” he said.

For the 2017 intake of medical and dental colleges in Punjab, the entrance test or MDCAT was conducted on Aug 20. More than four hours after conclusion of the test, a few questions and diagrams of Physics section were posted on a Facebook account, giving the impression that the paper was leaked to some commercial academies before the test.

The post went viral within hours and demonstrations were held the following day to press the authorities to retake MDCAT as its question paper was leaked.

The protesters demanded that the condition to appear in MDCAT for admission to medical and dental colleges should be withdrawn as only students of private tuition centres performed well in it because they got the question paper in advance.

The UHS approached the Cyber Crime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) with the request to “thoroughly investigate the matter and bring all those to justice who were involved in maligning an institution which is known for its valid, reliable and secure systems.”

A preliminary probe by the FIA Cyber Crime Wing revealed that a teacher of a commercial tuition academy of Rahim Yar Khan was behind the whole episode.

An official privy to the investigation told Dawn that the teacher asked one of his students to appear in the entrance test only to get some questions copied on the back of her admit card. The teacher got the questions typed and along with a hand-drawn diagram posted it on a Facebook account. The post drew prompt responses and after realizing that it might land him in hot waters, the teacher blocked that account. However, the post was picked by another ‘opponent’ as his students could not perform well in the MDCAT because of some changes in it questions’ pattern. The admin of the fake Facebook account named ‘Ya mbbs ha mamu’ gave an impression as if the paper was leaked before the test.

The findings have been submitted to the competent authority, said the official.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2017

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