Islamabad - The first meeting of Education Testing Council (ETC) held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) here on Saturday.

The meeting was chaired by Prof Dr Arshad Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Acting Executive Director HEC, said a press release.

Representatives from Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Vice Chancellors of various universities, nominees of Sustainable Policy Development Institute and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, besides other member of the Council, attended the meeting.

Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was especially invited to present the preview of the ETC. He highlighted the concept and objectives of ETC launched earlier by HEC in May 2016.

He underscored that the initiative has been undertaken on directive of the government for extending a free of cost, uniform, standardized and transparent testing service for students all across Pakistan for admission to universities and degree awarding institutions.

The council was apprised that since its inception over 100,000 candidates have been successfully tested for award of scholarships.

The council members appreciated the initiative of having a national level public testing entity and the pledge to institute a uniform, standardized and transparent assessment service free of cost across the entire country alleviating students and their parents for undertaking multiple admission tests. The council decided that initially the test would be launched for fall 2017 admission session at undergraduate level.

The universities would be encouraged to adopt the ETC test; however, gradually all the universities and degree awarding institutions shall be required to embrace the test. The council also decided that initially the test will be offered twice annually.