LAHORE – About 36,098 candidates, 11,110 male and 24,988 female, appeared in medical and dental colleges’ entry test conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) simultaneously in 12 cities of Punjab, amid tight security on Sunday.

The test, which started at 9am, went on peacefully at 20 centres set up in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Hassan Abdal. All the centres were locked at 8:15am and no one was allowed to enter after that.

A large number of police personnel were deployed at the centres to prevent any disruption of the examination. Bomb disposal squads and fire brigades were also available at the centres. Besides, close circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were installed at all the centres. There were proper arrangements for the disabled students, parking and waiting area facilities for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at all centres.

The candidates and parents expressed their satisfaction over the arrangement made by the UHS and the provincial government.

In Lahore, there were three centres; one at Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls at Shaarey Majid Nizami where 1,149 female and 3,017 male candidates appeared, the second was established at Punjab University examination halls at Wahdat Road where 4,800 female candidates turned up. Government Comprehensive Girls High School Wahdat Road was set up as the third centre where 1,542 female candidates appeared.

Lahore Division Commissioner Jawad Rafiq Malik, DCO Noorul Amin Mengal and other senior officials monitored the arrangements.

Talking to media, UHS Vice Chancellor Prof IA Naveed said scientific and sophisticated method had been adopted to maintain the secrecy of the examination papers and whole process of the test. He said admission in medical colleges would be made purely on merit. He further said medical college admission test was compulsory across the world, both in developed and developing countries.

“In India, there will be a common entry test from next year for admission to 355 medical and 29 dental colleges across the country in which an estimated one million students are expected to appear”, he informed.

“The marks obtained by candidates in various education boards across the province are not a standardised measure of their abilities. It is therefore important to let all of them go through a comprehensive test. This ensures justice, equity, merit and transparency”, the VC maintained.

The candidates who appeared in the test would compete for 3,305 MBBS and 216 BDS seats in 16 public sector medical and 3 dental colleges. Besides, there are 3,050 MBBS seats in 28 private sector medical colleges and 715 BDS seats in 12 private dental colleges of the province.

The UHS uploaded the answer keys to the question papers of different colour codes on its website. With the help of these keys, candidates could calculate their scores themselves. The official result would be announced in the first week of October.

About 5,928 candidates appeared in Rawalpindi, 5,359 in Multan, 3,371 in Faisalabad, 2,764 in Gujranwala, 1,526 in Bahawalpur, 1,369 in Sargodha, 1,517 in Sahiwal, 1,288 in Gujrat, 1,154 in Muzaffargarh, 933 in Rahim Yar Khan and 381 in Hassan Abdal.