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Wednesday August 17, 2022

MDCAT row: PMC reacts to Sindh cabinet decision lowering pass percentage

The MDCAT is mandatory for admissions in the medical and dental colleges across Pakistan as recently held by the Supreme Court of Pakistan

December 03, 2021
The logo of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).
The logo of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC). 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Thursday made it clear that it would not register such students who have not passed the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT-2021) as per the criteria set by the regulatory body.

The Sindh cabinet on Thursday decided to slash the pass percentage of the MDCAT from 65% to 50% for admissions in medical and dental colleges of Sindh to fill all the seats with students from different districts of the province.

The MDCAT is mandatory for admissions in the medical and dental colleges across Pakistan as recently held by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“The law and the Supreme Court have laid down the mandatory criteria for admissions to the medical and dental colleges in the country and no entity can alter the mandatory criteria. The law mandates the PMC to set the passing marks and also declare the result of the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT),” President PMC Dr. Arshad Taqi told The News while commenting on Sindh cabinet’s decision.

“Even otherwise, there are enough students in Sindh who have passed the MDCAT, secured 65% and who can be granted admissions to public and private medical and dental colleges in the Sindh province.”

He maintained that in response to Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho’s letter to him, in which she had requested him to lower the MDCAT pass percentage for students in Sindh, they had responded in detail and apprised her that around 4,911 students would be available with 65% and above percentage in Sindh province to fill in 2,590 seats in the private medical and dental colleges in the province.

“This year a total of 68,723 students have qualified the MDCAT, out of which 7,811 students are from Sindh. If Sindh elects this year again to restrict admission to colleges in Sindh for students domiciled in Sindh only, these 7,811 students would hence be vying for a total of 2,900 public college seats and 2,590 private college seats. After completion of admission to the 2,900 public seats, it would still leave 4,911 students vying for 2,590 total medical and dental seats in private colleges in Sindh. That is almost 2 students competing for each seat,” Dr Arshad Taqi explained.

While responding to a question, the PMC president made it clear that the regulator would not register the students who have not passed the MDCAT as per the PMC records and any students granted admissions in the private medical and dental colleges would not be registered by them and they would not be granted licenses to practice in the country or abroad as having qualified MDCAT is also a requirement for the grant of license under the law.

“In view of the multiple considerations, it is the considered view of the council that there does not exist any reason to consider lowering of the passing marks of MDCAT from the current 65%, which was recommended by the National Academic Board and approved by the Council earlier,” Dr Arshad Taqi said while referring to his letter written to Sindh health minister in response to her request to PMC.