LAHORE - As many as 45,000 candidates, 30,500 female and 14,500 male, have been issued roll numbers to appear in medical colleges’ entrance test this year to be conducted by University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Sunday (Aug 31).

The Punjab government has finalised the arrangements for the test and has deputed senior bureaucrats including provincial secretaries, member Board of Revenue, divisional commissioners, district coordination officers and members (enquiries) Services and General Administration Department to monitor the test.  The test will be held simultaneously at 25 centres established in 13 cities of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, D G Khan, and Hasanabdal.

The test will start at 09:00am. The candidates, however, must reach their respective centres at least one hour before the commencement of the test as all the centres would be sealed at 08:15 am and nobody would be allowed to enter after that.

In Lahore, six centres have been set up which include Examination Halls of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lawrence Road; Examination Halls of Punjab University, Wahdat Road; Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Wahdat Road; Government Pilot High School, Wahdat Road; University of Education, Lower Mall and Government Central Model School, Lower Mall. More than 13000 candidates will appear in the metropolis.

The test will comprise 220 multiple choice questions (MCQs), divided into four sections namely Physics (44 MCQs), Chemistry (58 MCQs), English (30 MCQs) and Biology (88 MCQs). 

Total duration of the test will be two and a half hour. After the main test, the candidates will be required to answer a separate test comprising questions related to aptitude and feedback. An extra 30 minutes will be provided to the candidates to answer this test which will have no weightage in the entrance test score. Total marks of the test shall be 1100. There shall be negative marking in the test like previous years and while 05 marks will be awarded for each correct answer, one mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer. UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Gen (R) Prof Muhammad Aslam said that the Punjab government had made immaculate arrangements for smooth and flawless conduct of the entrance test. 

The district administration, under the supervision of concerned divisional commissioners and district coordination officers, had finalized the security and logistic plans at their respective centres where the test was scheduled to be held, Prof Aslam said. He further said that district police officers would be responsible for security and deployment of police personnel at the test centres in their respective districts. Police would ensure extensive patrolling and technical sweeping of the area before the commencement of the test. Walk-through gates and mobile jammers would be installed at each centre. Restrictions would be imposed under Section 144 on the entry of unauthorized persons in the premises of examination centres, UHS VC said.  He further said that parents and other attendants of the candidates would be provided comfortable waiting areas, with drinking water and adequate toilet facilities, near examination centres. Traffic police had been directed to make special traffic and parking arrangements to ensure smooth flow of traffic near the examination centres, he said.

Emergency healthcare services will be ensured at all centres which would include fully equipped ambulances, doctors, 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.

UHS has already issued roll numbers and instructions to the candidates. Candidates are not allowed to bring any cell phones, calculators, laptops or notes to the examination centre. No candidate will be allowed to enter the centre without the admittance card issued by UHS. According to the regulations of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, it is mandatory for a candidate to appear in the provincial entrance test conducted by UHS for admission to any public or private medical / dental college of the Punjab.

Meanwhile, the government has deputed the secretaries of 17 provincial departments, 07 members Board of Revenue Punjab, special secretaries of Home and Higher Education Departments, all divisional commissioners in Punjab, members (enquiries), S&GAD Department, Secretary, Provincial Transport Authority Lahore and DCOs of Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Lahore to oversee the conduct of medical entrance test. These officers will support the senior medical professors who will conduct the test and will report to the Additional Chief Secretary Punjab after the completion of exercise.

This year, the candidates shall compete for 3,405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in 03 public dental colleges of the province. Besides, there are around 3000 MBBS seats available in 28 private medical colleges and 700 BDS seats in 12 private dental colleges of the Punjab.