KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Thursday decided to lower the passing percentage in MDCAT-2021 from 65 percent to 50 percent so that the candidates with less than 50 percent score may be considered as eligible for admission in Session 2021-2022.
The decision was taken in a Sindh cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here in Karachi.
“This decision would not only provide an opportunity to the provincial candidates to seek admission in medical and dental colleges/universities of Sindh but the seats which were going to be unfulfilled/vacant would be utilised,” CM Murad stated.
This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presiding over the cabinet meeting here at CM House.
The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary Mumtaz Shah, Chairman P&D Mohsin Naqvi, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro and other concerned officers.
After replacing the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the National Assembly passed Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act with the objective to regulate medical profession, medical education and to recognize medical and dental qualifications all over Pakistan.
Section 16(f) of PMC 2020 provides powers to PMC to conduct all examinations, whereas Section 18(3)says the admission to medical or dental programs conducted by public colleges is to be regulated as per policy of the provincial governments.
Speaking during the meeting, Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said: “Marks obtained by a student in MDCAT conducted by the Authority shall constitute a minimum of 50 percent of the weightage for the purposes of admission in the public colleges.”
“Likewise, there is no mention of a minimum compulsory passing score, which at present is 65 percent.”
According to Dr Azra Pechuho, the PMC conducted a computer-based MDCAT-2021 exam in October 2021, based on federal curriculum on different dates.
“The Test from federal curriculum puts Sindh students at a disadvantage which resulted in low percentage of passing students,” she said and added last year, the passing percentage of MDCAT test was 60 percent whereas this year, this requirement has been unilaterally increased to 65 percent.
As a result, the total number of students who qualified last year was 8,287 (32.8 percent) while those who qualified in MDCAT 2021 is 7,797 (22.4 percent).
The total number of seats in Medical and Dental colleges (Public and Private) in Sindh is 5490.
Last year, with a passing percentage of 60 percent in MDCAT, 8,287 students passed in Sindh out of which 2,900 took admissions in public sector medical and dental colleges.
Of the remaining 5,387 students, about 800 took admissions in the Private Sector medical and dental colleges, and the remaining 4,587 were not able to get admission mainly due to non-affordability.
Thus about 1800 seats were left vacant and the private sector got 1300 candidates from other provinces, while 492 seats remained unfilled.
With this growing trend of lesser admissions, Sindh will face a severe shortage of about 10,000 doctors in the next five years.
Sindh Chief Minister said that WHO recommended one doctor against 850 people whereas Sindh has one doctor against 3200 people.
Keeping this in view, the cabinet decided to lower the passing percentage in MDCAT 2021.