The Punjab government on Monday decided that it would conduct its own medical entrance examination from 2015, instead of admitting students in MBBS and BDS courses in state colleges through the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT).
A notification in this regard was issued on Monday. “We have already informed the national medical and dental councils that we will go for our own entrance examination, the Punjab PMT (Pre-Medical Test), from next year,” said secretary, medical education, Punjab, Husan Lal.
Justifying the move, he said, “During this year’s admission process, conducted as per AIPMT, we found that a large number of seats in certain categories, including NRIs and Scheduled Castes, remained vacant.”
The AIPMT is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Punjab had been holding its own PMT till 2013, but the practice was discontinued this year as the AIPMT results were taken into consideration for admissions. Punjab was one of the 12 states, beside the union territory of Chandigarh, which had agreed to conduct MBBS/BDS admissions on the basis of AIPMT in 2014.
Husan Lal said the medical education department had to conduct a fresh examination for BDS courses as more than 80% seats remained vacant in the state’s dental colleges in view of less number of candidates getting the required 50% marks in AIPMT-2014.
He stated that like the earlier practice, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, would conduct the examination for all medical and dental colleges in the state from the 2015 session.
As per the admission criterion laid down for 2014, candidates who secured minimum 50% marks (40% for Scheduled Castes) in AIPMT were considered eligible for admission in MBBS courses in the state’s medical colleges. Thus, 1,318 candidates qualified in the general category, and there were 150 candidates in the Scheduled Castes and other categories. The seats available were around 1,100 (MBBS) and about 850 (BDS).
Commenting on the move, Chandigarh-based PMT trainer Dr Arvind Goyal said, “There is no negative marking in the Punjab PMT, while there is one-fourth negative marking in AIPMT. This may be one reason for the poor score of Punjab students in AIPMT.”
“After the high court directions in May 2014, the CBSE began uploading answer keys of AIPMT on its website and started inviting objections about the ambiguous questions, thus making the test more transparent and student-friendly,” Dr Goyal added.
He said BFUHS should follow the same pattern. “The Chandigarh administration should also frame the eligibility criterion at the earliest to avoid any confusion at a later stage. The new criterion should not have any retrospective effect as it will lead to unnecessary litigation,” he said.