The provincial government of Punjab is highly recommended by the Punjab Assembly’s Special Committee to reduce the weightage of MCAT and ECAT for medical and engineering colleges to ten percent from next year that is the academic year 2018.
The committee found no basis for keeping this weightage of fifty percent and thirty percent for MCAT and ECAT respectively. By mutual consensus, the committee decided that the weightage of MCAT and ECAT for the final merit list will not exceed ten percent.
The committee suggested that the weightage of HSC/FSC/Intermediate and equivalent examination results should be kept at seventy percent, and the matriculation and equivalent examination results must carry twenty percent weightage for admission to medical and engineering colleges and universities from the academic year 2018.
The committee also advised Punjab government to make sure to hold the MCAT and ECAT examinations on two consecutive Sundays. The Sundays which may come immediately within fifteen days of the last theory paper of any qualified intermediate group of the province.
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The committee did not take any action or advised any action for the already taken ECAT and to be taken again MCAT entrance test on October 29th for admission to engineering and medical educational institutes respectively.
The special committee was led by the Qamarul Islam Raja-Chairman Punjab Assembly Standing Committee on Education. The committee has taken these suggestions after going through thorough discussions with the academicians, health and higher education department administrative secretaries, various stakeholders including government officials and chairman Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.
Chairman Lahore BISE along with the committee were together of the opinion that initially, the circumstances that led to the launch of entrance test in 1997 are non-existential.
Keeping in view the standard procedures for admissions across the globe the committee recommended continuing with the entrance tests but with minimum weightage as a second measure of quality assurance with the BISE results.
As per the committee, these weightages were illogically kept and have no justifiable argument.
Mr. Raja said that the role being played by the test preparation academies is ‘exploitative’ and no legal stuff or regulatory rule was found both by the health and higher education departments to justify their operations.
The committee further lashed out at the academy ‘mafia’ by saying that lakhs of capable and brilliant students are unable to get admissions in professional colleges and go through severe mental torture. These students are not only bright but also the high achievers in FSc examinations and this disappointment even leads some to commit suicide.
Referring to the differences in the weightage of medical and engineering entrance tests in Punjab, the committee observed that the Pakistan Engineering Council left the decision on the provincial admission authorities and related universities whereas, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has fixedly laid down the obligation of fifty percent weightage.
The committee advised the Punjab government to take the matter to PMDC via federal government to make needed changes and to make it make it in line with that of PEC rules, but the weightage decision would be left to the admission authority.
The committee also forced the government of Punjab to take the matter to federal and within the provincial government for making the required changes so that the recommendations could be implemented.