The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has rejected appeals against the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MD-CAT) and ruled that the test remains mandatory for medical college admissions even if private colleges come up with other tests on their own.
The apex court handed down a five-page verdict on Thursday upholding the January 2021 ruling by the Lahore High Court.
The verdict comes from a three-member bench that comprised of Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, and Justice Munib Akhtar.
The appeals were filed by the students of a private college from Faisalabad. They had cleared the test for the private medical college but had failed MD-CAT and their admissions were subsequently cancelled earlier this year.
The SC, however, ruled that under the regulations students applying for any medical or dental college were required to take MD-CAT mandatorily and the same applied to private medical colleges.
The court ruled that private colleges were not allowed to circumvent MD-CAT with their home-developed tests as MDCAT is a legal requirement protected by the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020.
The court also quoted from the act: "Any student seeking admission in any medical or dental college shall mandatorily be required to have passed the MDCAT examination held by PMC. The passing marks for the MDCAT examination shall be 60%."
MD-CAT 2021 controversy
The MD-CAT examination in 2021 were marred by a controversy candidates expressed reservations over online test and demanded that the test be retaken in physical or in person settings.
Former nuclear scientists Dr Abul Qadeer Khan also wanted to challenge the test. Two days before his death he told SAMAA TV that “the MDCAT has destroyed the lives of the thousands of students.”