LAHORE :Keeping candidates on tenterhooks for one-and-a-half month in entrance test fiasco, the Punjab government has finally admitted leak out of paper of Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) and announced conducting retest without any charges. The date for holding of entrance test will be announced in a couple of days.
“The investigations, conducted so far, have revealed involvement of an organised racket having close links with some of the doctors, non-doctors and renowned academies that offered services for preparation of the entrance test,” said Khawaja Salman Rafique, Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education, while addressing an emergent press conference held here at Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Thursday.
University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, conducted the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test on August 20, which turned controversial after leakage of paper on social media soon after holding of the test.
The students and parents widely protested the leakage of paper, which destroyed the spirit of transparency and merit as it helped certain elements to accumulate money worth billions at the cost of inflicting unimaginable damage and disadvantage to the hardworking students competing through the examination.
Flanked by Secretary SCH&ME Najam Ahmad Shah, the Punjab government’s spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Director General Punjab Forensic Agency Dr Tahir Ashraf, Prof Faisal Masood and officers of departments concerned, Punjab Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique said the chief minister’s high-powered inquiry committee probed the scandal threadbare and apprehended the culprits after finding tangible evidence of their involvement in the leak scam. “The FIR has been registered,” he told the reporters but fell short of revealing the names of culprits on the pretext that it would affect the investigation still underway to reach out and apprehend each and every person involved in this dirty business. However, the minister admitted that UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Junaid Safraz Khan has been sent on a forced leave to probe his role in this serious mishap.
The purpose of the press conference, the minister said, is to make official announcement of re-examination for the students to give them ample time to prepare for the entrance test. “Having already impacted emotional and academic detriment to the students, the leak fiasco leading to re-examination will further delay their new academic session by 10 to 15 days,” he regretted, but assured the students and their parents to take all the culprits to task.
The minister announced that the chief minister had also desired to form another high-powered commission to review the entire system of Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test in order to make it absolutely transparent and foolproof to uphold the merit. “The names of the officers/members to constitute the new commission will be announced in the next few days,” he added.