KARACHI - Teachers and students of the Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) have strongly criticised the varsity's decision for hiring NTS (National Testing Service) to carry out admission tests of graduates aspiring for MS and PhD programmes, as NTS administration has started making blunders. According to complaints of candidates and teachers gathered by The Nation, "Candidates are facing enormous problems in submitting their enrolment forms for an entry test for the said programme as NTS allowed only 9 days to applicants for this purpose, which is not sufficient. These 9 days include four half days and two holidays." "NTS restricted the candidates to submit their forms in three banks including UBL, ABL and MCB. However, failure of online banking for the last four days, according to students, kept them away from submitting the forms." It is pertinent to mention here that an advertisement for the admission was published on January 29 only in one Urdu newspapers; while the last date for submission of forms was February 7. Before the last date of submission NTS was charging Rs600 but after February 7 Rs1,000 is being charged which is unfair. However, Rs50 out of Rs1,000 is being charged by the FUUAST. It is worth mentioning that the test will be held on February 22 (today) at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology during morning hours, while it is expected that 350 to 400 students will be appeared in the test. A senior teacher at the varsity said that the reliability of the NTS had already been exposed at the Karachi University (KU) as MS and PhD programme had yet to be started due to some serious errors in entrance test conducted by NTS. He alleged that NTS administration was just minting money by charging late fee due to the short time period allocated by the NTS for submission of the enrolment forms for the entrance test while more than 100 students had paid additional charges. "FUUAST has lost the opportunity to earn money from NTS after designating the Sir Syed University for test centre. A majority of the FUUAST teachers worried over the administration's decision to allow a private organisation to carry out admission tests for their graduates willing to get admission in MS and PhD programmes, as they see it as an attempt to discredit their institution," he added. When Registrar FUUAST Prof Dr Qamar-ul-Haq was contacted by The Nation, he said that the university was not responsible for the affairs related to the entrance test announced by the NTS. "This is purely a matter of concern for the NTS administration as students have expressed their concern over the short period of time declared by the NTS for the submission forms." It is pertinent to mention here that the representatives of Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) have already expressed their serious concern over the authenticity of the NTS, and said that the organisation had a dubious record and nobody is aware of its origin. "It is also not clear as to why and under what conditions the Higher Education Commission (HEC) allowed the NTS to conduct tests in public-sector universities," they added.