KARACHI: Three primary ministers of Sindh denied the results of the test conducted by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) for admission to the province’s medical colleges in the midst of increasing protests by candidates.
Provincial governments should be given the authority to administer entry examinations, Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Education Minister Saeed Ghani requested while addressing a press conference at the Sindh Assembly auditorium on Monday.
Dr Azra said: “The future of thousands of Sindh students has been put at stake by the federal government.” This entrance exam is utter cruelty to the Sindh students as it was based on the federal educational board’s curriculum.
The Health Minister acknowledged that there were inconsistencies in the lists of candidate names prepared for the entrance test and outcomes, highlighting “significant irregularities” in the entry test and its results. Although as many as 14 questions were’ vague’ in the test report, the provincial programme was dismissed.
Inappropriate plans, she pointed out, were made for the entrance test; after the applicants reported major violations in the process, the first merit list was withdrawn. The second merit list was full of faults, she said, and applicants were asked to complete online applications to file their complaints.
“The provinces are responsible for administering entrance examinations for entry to medical schools. Provincial interests are being abused by the federation. “The mandate of the PMC is to regulate and maintain the quality of the country’s health sector and not to interfere with the provincial health departments’ administrative affairs,” she said.
In the coming days in Sindh, especially in rural areas, these negative acts and intervention on the part of the federal government would cause many problems for health care facilities, she said, and the province would face a shortage of doctors.
The education minister, attacking the federal government, said that the Sindh government had already raised complaints against the PMC, which was set up in a joint parliamentary session without taking the provinces into confidence and “bulldozing” the opposition parties.
Bad entrance test arrangements have further validated our position,” he said, adding that petitions challenging the formation of the PMC in courts were also filed by different universities and the matter was still pending.”
The ministers stated that “systematic and transparent medical entrance tests at the divisional level” had been performed in the past by the Sindh government.