PESHAWAR: A girl student has challenged the recent changes made by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council to the regulation meant for admission to government and private medical colleges on multiple grounds, saying it will give an edge to students of other provinces on those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in admission process.

The petitioner, Hamayal Waseem Khattak, requested the court through her lawyer father, Waseemuddin Khattak, to declare different provisions of the MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulation, 2018, which was amended in May 2019, illegal and against her fundamental rights.

She also challenged Clause 20-A of the Regulation, which makes it mandatory for a student to give the order of three preferences for admission from among public sector medical and dental institutions in the province.

Regulation on admission preferences also challenged

Previously, a candidate applying for admission to a medical college was allowed to give unlimited preferences and was given admission in the relevant college according to merit.

The petitioner requested the court to strike down Clause 6(5) of the Regulation, which removes restriction of domicile or preferences on seats of private medical or dental colleges.

The respondents in the petition are the PMDC through its secretary, PMDC president, Khyber Medical University’s vice chancellor, Khyber Medical University through its registrar, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department.

The petitioner said she had passed secondary school examination by securing 1002 marks out of 1,100 marks before clearing FSc (1st Year) exam by obtaining 446 marks out of 550 marks. She added that she had sat FSc (2nd year) examination, whose results were awaited, and that she wanted admission in MBBS course to become a medical doctor.

The petitioner said the PMDC had issued regulation under the nomenclature MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulation, 2018, which was amended on May 30, 2019.

She said Clause 6 (1, 3, 4 and 5), Clause 9 (8, 12) and 20-A of the Regulation ar4e without lawful authority and against the spirit of the Constitution.

The petitioner said the PMDC had directed the KMU to conduct test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in light of the impugned policy.

She claimed that last year, the last candidate admitted to MBBS course in Punjab’s private sector colleges on open merit had the 72.6192 merit score, the score was 89.1082 in Balochistan, while in KP, the last candidate admitted on open merit had the score of 68.66.

The petitioner said the students of KP were no less intelligent than those from other provinces but the difference of merit position was due to the course of studies, while the marking system and paper pattern was different.

She said after the new policy, no candidate would be considered eligible on merit if he or she hadn’t obtained an aggregate merit score of not less than 70 per cent for medical and 60 per cent for dental admission. She said setting 70 per cent aggregate amounted to denial of admission to the citizens of this province.

The petitioner feared that there would be an influx of students from other provinces against the seats of students of the province. She requested the court to rule that the new policy shouldn’t be applied with retrospective effect.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019