LAHORE - A new question bank has been developed with the help of teachers of both FSc and A-Level and the Punjab Higher Education Department, says University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice Chancellor Prof Faisal Masud.

Briefing the media about arrangements for the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) at UHS on Saturday, he said three question papers had been prepared according to the approved syllabus and table of specifications and one of these papers would be picked randomly for the test.

The test conducted earlier on August 20 was cancelled by the government after a high level inquiry found evidence of MDCAT paper leak. More than 65,000 candidates -- 41,000 girls and 24,000 boys -- would once again take the test with their previous roll numbers at the same 28 centres on Sunday (today).

Prof Faisal Masud said 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 the varsity had taken a number of steps to enhance internal and external security in the aftermath of the MDCAT paper leak. 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 the test would start at 9:00 am sharp at all 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.

The UHS VC said that although the test would start at 09:00 am, candidates must reach their centres by 7:15 am. “All centres will be sealed at 8:15 am and nobody would be allowed to enter after that,” he added.

“We have tried our best to plug the loopholes. The system has been made more stringent and foolproof and it is not based on mere trust anymore,” he said.

He said that SOPs for transportation of examination material had also been revised. Now the representative of the deputy commissioner of each district would come with his locks and keys and authority letter. He would lock his trunks himself and put a seal on them. He would ensure that no seal of the lock was tempered before trunks leave the university, he said. He said that all trunks had reached their respective districts where they had been placed in the Government Treasury. They would now be recovered from the treasury early in the morning on the test day. He said that a chain of custody would be maintained throughout the process. Police squads had been provided by the concerned DPOs/CPOs to escort the vans carrying examination material.

“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.