LAHORE – The University of Health Sciences will be conducting the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) 2017 once again after it was confirmed that the paper was leaked.
Khawaja Salman Rafique, Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education, while addressing a press conference at Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) on Thursday revealed that a racket was involved in the henous offence of providing paper to specific aspirants.
“The investigations, conducted so far, have revealed involvement of an organised racket having close links with some of the doctors, non-doctors and renowned academies that offered services for preparation of the entrance test,” he said.
The lawmaker expressed that chief minister’s high-powered inquiry committee probed the scandal and apprehended the culprits after finding tangible evidence of their involvement in the leak scam.
He maintained that the entry test would be conducted again but this time no fee would be charged from the students.
“The FIR has been registered,” he told the newsmen but did not reveal the names of culprits fearing that it would affect the investigation still underway.
Rafique also admitted that UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Junaid Safraz Khan has been sent on a forced leave to probe his role in this serious mishap.
The minister continued that the motive of holding presser was to officially confirm the paper leakage and announce holding the test again.
“Having already impacted emotional and academic detriment to the students, the leak fiasco leading to re-examination will further delay their new academic session by 10 to 15 days,” he regretted.
The minister announced that the chief minister had also desired to form another high-powered commission to review the entire system of Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test in order to make it absolutely transparent and foolproof to uphold the merit.
“The names of the officers/members to constitute the new commission will be announced in the next few days,” he added.
Lahore High Court’s Proceedings
The Lahore High Court on Friday winded up the petitions filed by a group of students pleading to hold the MDCAT test afresh.
The court after being assured by the representatives of Punjab government that no fee would be charged from the students concluded the hearings.
Justice Shahid A Waheed was hearing the petitions filed by Ayesha Bin Tariq and other candidates.
MDCAT Paper Leak
The news of the MDCAT paper leak spread like wildfire on social media after August 20 when some of the users shared pictures of the paper.
The allegation that the paper, which decides who would be becoming a doctor or dental surgeon, became mainstream when students moved Lahore High Court seeking an inquiry.
At that time, UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan rubbished the rumors that the entry test paper had been leaked.
According to a UHS spokesman, it was just a hoax by a Facebook page named ‘Ya mbbs hai mamu’ that claimed the leakage of paper.
The UHS head also moved FIA to track the perpetrator who according to him had dented the credibility of the institute.
More than 65,000 candidates including 41,000 female students appeared for the Punjab Medical & Dental Colleges’ Admission Test (MDCAT).
The University of Health Sciences (UHS) had deputed around 5,500 invigilators and around 1,000 superintendents and deputy superintendents.
The test was held simultaneously at 28 centres established in 13 cities – Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, DG Khan and Hassan Abdal, The Nation reported.
This year, the candidates are competing for 3405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges of the province. Besides, there are 2590 MBBS seats available in 21 private medical colleges and 555 BDS seats in nine private dental colleges affiliated with the university.