ISLAMABAD: A petition based on late scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s last will was filed in the Islamabad High Court on Monday against alleged flawed entry tests for admission to medical and dental colleges.
The petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Mohammad Waqas Malik as co-petitioner was referred to Justice Babar Sattar for hearing. It requested the high court to set aside the results of Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Tests (MDCAT).
The petition, available with Dawn, said the petitioner (A.Q Khan), who was once known and called “father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons programme”, had faced ignorance at the hands of the state. “…The petitioner felt dejected by the materialistic approach of the functionaries and ill-treatment with future of Pakistan, hence this petition. That the government half-heartedly dissolved the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and set up the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), which as usual resulted in a mess,” it stated.
The petition regretted that the poor students had been forced to appear in a useless test (MDCAT) and required to pay each time more than Rs6,000. Earlier in 2018, the public universities and colleges used to select students on the basis of marks obtained. The universities and colleges were allowed the number of seats/students up to that aggregate marks and merit list was prepared and published, it said, adding that private educational institutions were also following the same rules.
Co-petitioner says the plea signed by nuclear scientist had to be filed the day he breathed his last
The petition cited the Ministry of National Health Services, the federation through the Ministry of Interior, the PMC, the Ministry of Law and other departments as respondents. It pleaded that PMC Conduct of Examination Regulations 2021 may be set aside for being contrary to the fundamental rights and the respondents be directed not to expose young students to violent policies.
Advocate Waqas Malik, while talking to Dawn, said Dr Qadeer Khan had signed the petition and it had to be filed the day he breathed his last. “As it was the last will of Dr Khan so I decided to file the same petition and mentioned my name as a co-petitioner,” he said.
Pakistan Medical Association secretary general Dr Qaiser Sajjad told Dawn that the association had been making a hue and cry since the passage of the PMC Ordinance, but no one bothered to hear the voice of the medical fraternity.
“We appreciate that Dr Khan had decided to raise voice against the blunder made by the PMC. So far three results of same MDCAT have been handed over to candidates, but students are not satisfied with any of them. We appeal to the decision-makers to look into it and address the issue,” he said.
Dr Sajjad added that across the globe such tests were held on a single day, but the PMC decided to take the exam in one month. “Only around 200,000 students appeared in the exam as compared to 1.8 million students in India who appear in the exam on a single day.”
He said it was another blunder that the PMC had introduced the online examination system without carrying out a pilot project and taking the stakeholders on board due to which now they were getting information about the flaws.
In July this year, Transparency International Pakistan had asked the PMC president and the government to take notice of violations of PPRA rules in the award of the MDCAT contract.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021