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Sindh lowers passing score from 65% to 50% for MBBS/BDS admissions

Not enough students are entering medical school

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Dec 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo: Online

The Sindh cabinet has decided to lower the passing percentage in Medical and Dental College Admission Test or MDCAT-2021 from 65 percent to 50 percent so that candidates with at least 50 percent may be considered as eligible for admissions in Session 2021-2022. 

“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.” 

This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presiding over a cabinet meeting here at CM House Thursday. 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 officers. 

After replacing the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), the National Assembly passed the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act to regulate the medical profession, medical education and to recognize medical and dental qualifications all over Pakistan.

Section 16(f) of the new PMC 2020 provides powers to the PMC to conduct all examinations. Section 18(3) says that admissions to medical or dental programs conducted by public colleges has to be regulated according to the policies of provincial governments. 

“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,” the minister for health said. “Hence, in PMC Act 2020, there is no mention of a pass or fail percentage in the eligibility criteria for the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT). Likewise, there is no mention of a minimum compulsory passing score, which at present is 65 percent.”

According to Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, the PMC conducted a computerised MDCAT-2021 exam in October 2021, based on the Federal curriculum on different dates. “The test from the federal curriculum puts Sindh students at a disadvantage and resulted in a low pass percentage,” she said. Last year, the passing percentage of the 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 5,490. Last year, with the 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 private medical and dental colleges, and the remaining 4,587 were not able to get admission mainly because they could not afford it.

Thus, about 1,800 seats were left vacant and the private sector got 1,300 candidates from other provinces, while 492 seats remained unfilled. With this drop in admissions, Sindh will face a severe shortage of about 10,000 doctors in the next five years.

The Sindh chief minister said that WHO recommended one doctor for 850 people but Sindh has one doctor for 3,200 people. “Hence this gap of doctors will worsen if the situation persists,” he said.

The health minister said that she held several meetings with the vice chancellors of public medical and dental universities and with the Pakistan Association of Medical and Dental Institutions (Sindh). They decided that in order to fill all seats, the passing percentage for MDCAT-2021 should be slashed from 65 to 50 percent.

Dr Azra Pechuho said that the request to lower the passing percentage was not only communicated in writing to the president of the PMC but a delegation from Sindh met him. The PMC did not respond.

Keeping this in view, the cabinet decided to lower the passing percentage in MDCAT 2021 and candidates with no less than 50 percent may be considered eligible for admissions in Session 2021-2022 while the weightage of MDCAT-2021 in overall merit would remain the same as prescribed under the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act.

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  1. Dr. Aquil Ahmed Khan  December 5, 2021 4:31 pm/ Reply

    Excellent decission by Sind’s government.
    Thankfully Appreciated.

  2. Ayaz Alam  December 13, 2021 10:40 am/ Reply

    I want to see result of pre-medical wherein selected as MBBS

  3. Sultan yousaf from kpk  December 16, 2021 7:49 am/ Reply

    It is a good step of govt of sindh

  4. PIR MUHAMMAD KHAN  December 17, 2021 4:37 am/ Reply

    Good news for other provinces students.

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