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Abolition of entrance test for colleges/universities admission

Students look to CM for entrance test abolition
Lahore, Aug 04, 2008: Students and their parents have been expressing concern regarding the requirement of the entrance test for admission to the medical colleges, engineering universities and higher institutes of general education for years, but no relief has been provided to the stakeholders so far.

However, enthusiastic response by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif over the issue has raised hope for thousands of students who had been expressing strong reservations in connection with the entry test requirement for admissions.

Responding to reservations aired by a number of participants during a prize distribution ceremony held last week, the chief minister assured the matter would be reviewed thoroughly and, if necessary, the entrance test system would be abolished for admission to educational institutes open-merit basis.

He said that the entrance test requirement for admission to the medical colleges was introduced during his last term as the CM only to filter students as booti-mafia was very strong at that time. He added aggressive measures were also taken to eliminate booti-mafia from examination boards.

"Today, the situation is different", he said, adding "Therefore, the matter will be reviewed to address grievances of the students".

Those who oppose the entry test system term it an unjust and unfair requirement, saying it creates problems for students instead of facilitating them. They are of the view that many a time some brilliant students having secured excellent marks failed to get admission to the medical colleges or engineering universities only because of the entrance test.

They further said that it also proved an extra financial burden on the poor as students had to join different academies and tuition centres to "master" the art of passing the tests. Many students and parents criticised the government, saying the entrance test was against the spirit of open merit policy for admissions.Fahad, a student, said it was unfortunate that like disparity in the country's education system we had disparity in admissions too. Talking about institutes of higher learning, he said it was strange that some public sector universities were admitting students on the basis of National Testing Service's entry test while others were arranging their own tests.

He said the government should ensure uniform admission policy, as disparity in this regard had been confusing the students and their parents.

Another student, Azeem, said there was disparity in admission process even within the Punjab University, adding it was strange why the government could not ensure uniformity in connection with admissions. "Students always suffer during the admission days because of such differences", he added.

It is important to mention here that the Punjab University (PU) has recently announced that it would not accept NTS test for admissions. Interestingly, some departments of the PU would their own entry test while some would be making admissions on open merit policy.

Similarly, the Government College University (GCU), Lahore, and the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) have announced not to accept NTS entrance test for admissions. However, confusion prevails about admission in other public sector universities as they have not made it clear which method they would be adopting for admissions.

Fazal, the father of a student, said there was a time when students were admitted to colleges and universities without any entrance test, but now it appeared as if they had been engulfed by the entrance test-phobia, he added.

He said, by not accepting marks obtained by students and "forcing" him/ her to clear the entrance test, the government was in fact not relying on its own examination boards. He urged the government to eliminate the test system to provide relief to the students and their parents on permanent basis. The stakeholders have urged the CM to take a final decision on the test soon. The News

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"Strongly oppose entry test system. Admission should be on open merit. This will give relief to students as well as their parents."
Name: Khalid Taqdees
City, Country: Lahore, Pakistan

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5-year age relaxation for PMS exams likely to be withdrawn
Lahore: The Punjab government is likely to withdraw a five-year general age relaxation for 130 posts of the Provincial Management Service (PMS) Examination this year, sources said.

The upper age limit for the Punjab government employees will be fixed at 35 years instead of 40 years, they said.

According to sources, the Punjab government is likely to amend Punjab Civil Servant (PCS) Recruitment Rules 1976 (Relaxation of upper age limit) and would set it according to the PMS rules.

According to government statistics, the PPSC was due to recruit 130 posts of PMS this year, as it had recruited 37 officials in 2005 and 89 in 2006.

The PCS recruitment rules state that a Punjab domiciled official serving in the federal government with at least four years of services and 35 years of age will be eligible to sit in the PMS examination.

A Punjab domiciled official serving in the Punjab government with at least four years of service and 40 years of age will be eligible to sit in the examination.

The PMS rules about government employee whether the federal or provincial, but having the Punjab domicile, state the upper age limit should be 35 years. So the second para of the PCS recruitment rules about the Punjab government employees has not applied in the case of PMS rules.

According to sources, the Punjab government is likely to amend PCS recruitment rules 1976 within two days and then upper age limit would be equal as 35 years for the federal or the Punjab officials.

The age relaxation for the general candidates in the PMS examination was five years in the last two batches (2005 and 2006), so the age limit for the general candidates, not the government employees, was 33 years including fiver years relaxation.

Now according to sources in PPSC, this five-year age relaxation would be withdrawn and only 28 years old will be eligible to sit in the examination.

A PPSC official, requesting anonymity, said that Punjab government was likely to amend the PCS recruitment rules 1976 regarding upper age limit. He said that five years general upper age relaxation may or may not be withdrawn by the Punjab government.

He said that the Punjab government was likely to direct the PPSC secretary if it wanted to withdraw age relaxation. He said that after the amendment in the PCS recruitment rules 1976 and resolution of the general age relaxation issue, the PPSC would advertise 130 posts. Daily Times

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