The Punjab Pre Medical Entrance Test (PMET) is underway in two shifts amid tight security in 15 towns across the state on Saturday. The exam is being conducted online for the first time.
A total of 15,677 candidates are taking the PMET for 700 MBBS and 500 BDS government quota seats in 21 medical and dental colleges in the state.
After the intervention of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, decided to conduct the PMET in two slots (morning and afternoon) to adjust all candidates within Punjab. The morning session is between 10am and 1pm and the evening session from 2pm to 5pm.
The PMET was earlier planned in a single shift on June 11. Since the examination centres in Punjab were short of computers on that date, new centres were created in Hisar, Kurukshetra, and Ambala in Haryana for candidates from Bathinda, Patiala, and Mohali districts.
All centres in Punjab
The candidates from Pathankot and Amritsar were accommodated in Jammu and Samba areas of Jammu and Kashmir, and a few from Chandigarh were asked to appear at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. As the list of the centres appeared on the university website, the candidates required to appear in Haryana were concerned about their safety during the second round of the Jat quota agitation. Several candidates had approached Badal during his sangat darshan (public contact) programme in Muktsar last Monday. He told the university to conduct the test within Punjab.
The revised plan required a separate question paper for each of the two sessions. “The revised list of allotted centres was put up on our website on Tuesday,” BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur said.
He said given the situation in Haryana, the parents’ concerns were genuine. “Also, since the number of candidates was too high, we had to plan two shifts. We are trying to allocate students the centres nearest to their home district. The reporting time for the second shift is 12.30pm,” Dr Bahadur said.
Changes give jitters
Constant changes in this year’s PMET system have hit the focus of candidates. A parent, Rajiv Batra, said: “It was a horrible year for medical aspirants. First, there were uncertainties about conducting the test and then frequent changes in the date (the exam was earlier schedule for June 12). Now at the eleventh hour, they have introduced two shifts.”
“Both question papers should be of the same level,” said Chandigarh-based PMET trainer Dr Arvind Goyal.