LAHORE: New question bank had been developed involving teachers of both FSc and A-Level from around the province with the help of Punjab Higher Education Department, said Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences (UHS) Prof Faisal Masud.

Briefing the media about arrangements for Medical and Dental Colleges’ Admission Test (MDCAT) at UHS on Saturday, he said that three question papers were prepared according to an approved syllabus and table of specifications out of which one was selected randomly.

The test conducted earlier on August 20 was cancelled by the government after a high level inquiry found evidence of leakage of MDCAT question paper. More than 65,000 candidates including 41,000 female and 24,000 male, would once again appear under their previous roll numbers at same 28 centres on Sunday (tomorrow).

Faisal Masud said that there was a new team in place that worked day and night according to new standard operating procedures (SOPs) under a three-layered security. He said that the varsity had taken a number of steps to enhance internal and external security in the aftermath of the MDCAT paper leakage episode. This included installation of mobile jammers and CCTV cameras, introduction of special pocket-less uniform for the staff working in the Entrance Test Cell, deployment of police and special branch personnel inside and outside the area and 24-hour monitoring. He said that the test would start exactly at 9:00 am at all the centres set up in 13 cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, DG Khan and Hassan Abdal.

He said that although the test would start at 09:00 am, the candidates must reach their respective centres by 07:15 am. “All the centres will be sealed at 08:15 am and nobody would be allowed to enter after that”, he added.

“We have tried our best to fill the gaps. The system has been made more stringent and fool proof and it is not based on mere trust anymore,” he said. He further said that the SOPs for transportation of examination material have also been revised.

“We know that it is painful for the candidates and their parents to go through the same exercise but the re-conduct of MDCAT is vital to ensure merit and transparency”, he said.

The UHS VC further said that the Punjab Government had finalised the arrangements for smooth conduct of the test. Senior government officers including provincial secretaries had been deputed to monitor the test. UHS had already deputed around 5500 invigilators and 1000 superintendents and deputy superintendents who would conduct the test. He said that although the roll numbers and test centres were the same, the candidates would be required to get a new print out of their admittance cards bearing new instructions for them.

“Nobody would be allowed to enter the test centre without the new admittance card. These admittance cards are available online on the notified weblink and can be easily downloaded by entering UHS application serial number already issued to every candidate”, he said adding that candidates must also bring their original CNIC/B-Form.

He said that the Chief Secretary Punjab had directed all concerned department to make immaculate arrangements for smooth and flawless conduct of the admission test. 

He said that district police officers would be responsible for security and deployment of police personnel at the test centres. Police would ensure extensive patrolling and technical sweeping of the area before the commencement of the test.

Emergency healthcare services will be ensured at all centres which would include fully equipped ambulances, doctors along with paramedical staff and emergency medicines. Moreover, the nearest teaching hospital or district headquarters hospital would be on high alert to ensure a state of readiness to meet any emergency. Arrangements have also been made with power supply companies to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply at all the centres during the test. 

Candidates are not allowed to bring any cell phones, calculators, laptops, watches, books and electronic devices at the test centre. He said that there would be zero tolerance for the use of unfair means in the test.

The candidates shall compete for 3405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in 03 public dental colleges of the province. Besides, there are 2640 MBBS seats available in 22 private medical colleges and 525 BDS seats in 09 private dental colleges affiliated with the university.