LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition seeking a direction for the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to conduct the upcoming Medical & Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) on the basis of the syllabus prescribed by the University of Health Sciences (UHS).A student, Muhammad Haseeb, filed the petition pleading that the PMC in its notification on Oct 7 categorically stated that there would be no new or additional syllabus for this year’s MDCAT.However, he said, the PMC issued a revised syllabus that was new and different from that of the UHS and gave no time for preparation to the students as the MDCAT is scheduled for Nov 15.
A counsel on behalf of the PMC told the court that the law required the commission to hold one single test nationwide for all medical and dental programmes in Pakistan. He said the common syllabus and table of specification setting committee was formed and the Inter Board Committee of Chairman (IBCC) was consulted for the purpose of the syllabus of MDCAT.The counsel argued that there was nothing new in the syllabus rather it took all topics common in all curricula of the four provinces.A UHS representative presented before the court a comparison of the PMC syllabus and the syllabus of other provinces and the National University of Medical Science (NUMS). He said the syllabus as per practice was announced by the UHS in line with the policy at the time in June 2020. He admitted that the representatives of the UHS were invited to a meeting held by the PMC with respect to the common syllabus.However, he said since the UHS was not involved in the examination process they had no role to play for the purpose of setting the syllabus for the MDCAT.
After hearing the parties, Justice Ayesha A Malik had reserved her judgement on Friday, which was released on Saturday.
In the verdict, the judge notes that as per the “syllabus clarification” issued by the PMC, the students would be given an objection form on the date of the test to record any objection to any question they believe outside the syllabus.
The PMC would then consider these objections and if any question is found to be outside the identified syllabus it would be removed from the scoring.
Therefore, the judge observes, as per the PMC’s counsel an effort has been made to ensure that the applicants of the MDCAT are not prejudiced with the changes made in creating a common syllabus.
“No case of interference is made out. The instant petition is dismissed,” Justice Malik concludes the verdict.