Lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly demanded on Wednesday that the results of the MDCAT (Medical and Dental Colleges’ Admission Test) recently held by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) should be rescinded as questions of the pre-entry examination were “out of syllabus”, and the province as per the constitution should again be authorised to conduct the test, instead.
The concerned MPAs were speaking on an adjournment motion of a lawmaker of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party Marvi Faseeh, on the recent controversy surrounding the MDCAT conducted by the PMC, which allegedly affected Sindh-based students in a large number who wanted to get admissions to medical colleges.
Faseeh said the PMC had based the questions of the test on the federal curricula. She said that as per a tradition, every province was authorised to conduct its own admission test for the medical colleges, but this practice had been unduly stopped this time.
She alleged that test had been conducted by people who had no prior experience to conduct such an academic examination. She said the MDCAT had been conducted in two phases under the new system, while the announcement of its results was also made twice.
MPA Faseeh said students of the province had been subjected to this unfair treatment by the PMC during the regime of a government that had come to power over the promise of giving jobs to people. She noted that education was a provincial subject, but the Centre had been unduly interfering in this matter.
Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said education had become a provincial subject following the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, but the federal government had been unduly interfering in it.
An opposition MPA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan, Muhammad Hussain Khan, said that in addition to the ruling PPP the MQM-P too had rejected the MDCAT. He said every province in the past had been authorised to devise its own policy to conduct the admission test for the medical colleges.
He claimed that the federal agencies didn’t know about the curricula being taught in the provinces. He said that federal government should first adopt a national-level curriculum in case it wanted to conduct such a test.
Khan said malpractices had been committed in the MDCAT and that was why its results had been declared twice. He said injustice had been done to the students of the province.
An opposition legislator of the Grand Democratic Alliance, Nand Kumar Goklani, said several errors had been observed in the test. He said conducting such a test by the PMC was tantamount to violating provincial autonomy.
He condemned the PMC for conducting the MDCAT, saying conducting the test at the federal-level was an unauthorised act. He said they stood with the Sindh government on every such an issue related to injustice to the people of the province.
Earlier, Labour and Education Minister Saeed Ghani informed the house during the question hour that the facility of allotting flats in the province would be provided to every senior worker employed by the industries within the 30-kilometre radius of such a residential compound built by the labour department.
He said flats were allotted to labourers on a lifetime basis as the facility was not withdrawn after the retirement of a worker, but the workers had to pay an amount against this facility. He said the reselling of these flats by labourers was not authorised.
Ghani said the new policy had been adopted to prevent this illegal practice. He said a database of the registered labourers was available with the labour department to provide the residential facility to the labourers.
He said that labour-related laws introduced by the Sindh government had been later adopted by other provinces for the welfare of the workers on the courts’ directives. He said the Sindh government would continue to safeguard the rights of the labourers.
Ghani added that the number of labourers in the province had been on the rise as it became a difficult task to provide them with the due facilities and privileges introduced by the
Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah informed the house that development works being carried out in the province were being affected, as the provincial government didn’t get its due fiscal share from the federal government.
He said that despite this dismal situation, CM had allocated special funds for the reconstruction of roads in industrial areas of Karachi. He was responding to the call-attention notice of an opposition lawmaker of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Dr Seema Zia, on the issue of dilapidated road networks in the SITE industrial area in the city.