National News

Over & above quota admissions – fate of fresh medical graduates hangs in the balance

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By Our Staff Reporter

Peshawar: Wrangling over and above quota admission between Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and public sector medical colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is getting tense in the wake of former’s warning that students admitted in excess of approved quota wouldn’t be registered if the practice continued in future.

According to sources, nine medical colleges in the province have been admitting over 100 extra students every year since 2007 and, only last year, a total of 129 students were admitted over and above the allotted seats of 600.

The PMDC’s action came after the students who had secured admission on extra seats did graduation and applied for registration with it, which they needed for employment. The sources said that PMDC, which regulates medical education in the country, had asked the medical colleges to admit students in line with the sanctioned strength of students.

They said that former secretary health Mushtaq Jadoon had written to PMDC to allow the additional students this year after its instructions were received in Sept 2015 when the prospectus for province-wide admission had already been issued. They said that the council had also asked the colleges to furnish undertakings and affidavit by the government that the criteria would be followed strictly and admission over and above the approved seats would not take place.

The colleges were initially asked to pay a penalty of Rs50, 000 per student which was later reduced to Rs5,000, the sources said, adding that colleges were under pressure as they had started receiving court notices from students after being told that their admissions had been cancelled.

They said that only the Khyber Girls Medical College could accommodate additional students due to increase in its allotted seats recently. All students who have been selected for admission in any of the medical and dental colleges feel deceived as they had sought admission through open competition.

The sources said that increase in seats was ordered by the previous governments of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and Awami National Party on political basis despite resistance from the administration of medical colleges.

They said that the seats were increased in the backdrop of military operation in Swat, earthquake in Hazara region, Afghan refugees, Fata and Balochistan, local and foreign self-finance, etc without taking into account ground realities at the colleges. However, the KPK government had distanced itself from the issue and people were consulting court, they added.

Health secretary Jamal Yousaf said that the government would follow the PMDC’s directives and only sanctioned number of students be admitted in colleges. “The government has no role in medical colleges’ admissions and the chief minister has issued clear instructions to follow rules,” he said, adding that seats were increased in the past in violation of law.

January 14, 2016

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