LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the University of Health Sciences (UHS) to hear the point of view of the students and decide the dispute about the syllabus for National Medical & Dental College Admission Test (NMDCAT).

Ramsha Ghaffar and other students filed a writ petition challenging abrupt changes to the syllabus of the admission test.

Petitioners’ counsel Adeel Mumtaz argued that the new syllabus issued by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) was against section 18 of its own law-Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020.

He asked the court to direct the PMC to conduct the NMDCAT according to the syllabus of UHS or common syllabus as previously announced by the commission or reasonable time be given to the petitioners to give the test as per the new course.

Some private colleges provisionally allowed to continue with admissions at their own risk

However, the counsel told the court that the petitioners would be satisfied and would not press the plea if the same be remitted to the UHS with a direction to decide the issue expeditiously as per the law.

Justice Jawad Hassan disposed of the petition and directed the UHS to afford a proper hearing to the petitioners and other stakeholders and decide the issue within one week strictly in accordance with law.

In a related petition against the new regulations by the PMC, the judge provisionally allowed some private medical colleges to continue with the admission process of students for the session 2020-21 based on previous prospectus at their own risk and cost.

The judge observed that there was contradiction between the provisions of certain sections of the Act and the regulations as pointed out by the counsel for the petitioners and prima facie balance of convenience tilted in favour of the petitioners and the court was more conscious about the future of the students.

However, the judge said the admission process would not be finalised till the outcome of the petition and the petitioners shall also comply with all other requirements given in the Act in letter and spirit.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2020