PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has changed criteria for admission to medical and dental colleges in the country and made it obligatory for private colleges to enrol candidates from own provinces and offer seats to the candidates from outside only if locals aren’t available.

The New Regulations, 2020, issued by the regulator for medical and dental education in the country to all provincial health secretaries, have made drastic changes to policy regarding medical and dental college admissions.

Another major change to regulations is about admission to private colleges by students from other provinces.

For admission to private medical and dental educational institutions, first priority shall be given to the students, who hold the local domicile and have appeared in the entry test of that province or region.

Makes drastic changes to enrolment regulations

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-based private medical and dental colleges used to enrol students from other provinces forcing the locals to agitate.

Most students from Punjab got admission to private colleges in KP, which, the local students said, was an encroachment on their right.

Every year, the local candidates held demonstrations asking the government to ban non-local students from securing admission to KP colleges.

In the new regulations, the PMDC has met the demand.

Under the regulations, a candidate seeking admission to MBBS and BDS course in a public and private medical and dental institution of a province or a region shall apply to the respective Admitting University. The admitting university shall process the applications strictly on merit by preparing separate merit list for the concerned public and private medical and dental institutions.

“In case of vacant seats in any private medical or dental college, if any, shall be offered to the students of other provinces/region for admissions when the local students aren’t available to fill the seat.”

Regarding the foreign student quota, the regulations say such candidates shall be eligible for admission to public and private medical and dental institutions unless he/she holds a permanent foreign nationality or dual nationality or is an overseas Pakistani student, and who has studied and passed the HSSC 12th grade examination or equivalent from outside Pakistan and has studied in the foreign country for the whole duration of the abovementioned course and possess a certificate from the institution last attended to that effect.

Pakistani students, who have passed exam from foreign education system, such as O and A levels in Pakistan, will not be eligible for foreign quota seats.

Officials said the new criteria had been made by the PMDC after getting input from the vice-chancellors of the admitting medical universities.

They said now, 10 per cent marks had been allocated to matriculation for the first time, while passing marks in entry test had been reduced from 60 per cent to 33 per cent.

Under the new admission criteria, the candidate with FSc (pre-medical) must have obtained a minimum 65 per cent marks. The FSc (Pre-Medical) or HSSC or equivalent caries 40 per cent marks and entry test 50 per cent marks.

Test for admission to medical and dental colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take place on Oct 18.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2020