ISLAMABAD - The GAT test being a compulsory requirement for the admission and degree awarding criteria for the local universities is a barrier in admission to M.Phil and PhD programme and a constraint in the education system imposed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The students of PhD and M.Phil programmes voiced their concerns and problems regarding the admission criteria at press conference at National Press Club Monday.
The including Amina, Iftikhar and Naveed from Islamabad alleged that NTS is managing GAT test since 2002 and has become a large money making institution in the education sector. ‘The sole purpose of this organisation is to make profit rather than to serve the learning education system. The GAT test is questionable in a lot manners i.e. format of the paper, nil learning outcomes and lack of intelligence reasoning. The paper format and questions are not aligned with the educational criteria at the M.Phil and Phd level. The GAT (General) and GAT (Subject) is a barrier and constraint for admission in M.Phil and Phd program’. 
They said NTS methods to evaluate the aptitude of the candidate are not according to the intelligence level of the students. The questions of the test are not innovative, creative and giving learning outcome which are not contributing in an educational environment.
The NTS institution is not accessible for the students and there is no facilitation for the students where they can share their grievances and problems regarding the test. The NTS is a monopolistic institution and has all the powers to take decisions for the paper format of GAT test. The firm is not showing any registration number or their annual report on their websites, hence, it portrays a very fictitious institution.  They complained that there was no top management who could listen to the problems of the students and it seemed that organisation was more concerned in making money instead of resolving their issues related to GAT.
‘The GAT test is questionable and so as their management because the NTS website is very vague about their management committee and Board of Directors panel. There is no information about the top management names and their designations’. 
They also said HEC no doubt is one of the revolutionary institutes of Pakistan in the higher education sector. Since the time of its establishment, it has brought change in a lot of positive manners. It has introduced M.Phil and PhD programs in many universities of Pakistan which has given an opportunity to develop M.Phil and Phd’s locally.
But, it has been seen that policies of HEC being a regulatory body is not innovative and flexible which can support the masses and public at large. The GAT test being a compulsory requirement has been imposed by HEC for the admission and degree awarding criteria for the local universities. The introduction of GAT test policy has created a barrier and constraint for the students to get enrollment in these programs.  The Gat test should not be the only compulsory requirement to get an admission there must be some alternative options available to students to get admissions in M. Phil and PhD locally.