Decision on NTS test shortly: Punjab Gov

LAHORE, July 2(Dawn): Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool has said that a decision with regard to the holding of a uniform entrance test by the National Testing Service (NTS) for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate classes in all public sector universities will be taken shortly.

Talking to reporters after the first convocation of University of Education on Saturday, the governor said the universities were autonomous bodies and could also take decision for the holding of entrance test for admission to their undergraduate and postgraduate classes independently.

Earlier, the governor had held a marathon meeting with the public sector universities' vice-chancellors on June 4. However, the meeting remained inconclusive and even the NTS director was told that he would be informed about the government's decision within two days. The NTS director, who has collected over 50,000 applications from candidates for the National Aptitude Test (NAT 2007) scheduled for July 15, is still in the dark.

According to a break-up, the NTS has received around 42,000 applications for NAT examination for admission to undergraduate classes and about 8,000 for admission to postgraduate classes.

Earlier this year, the governor had directed all Punjab universities' vice-chancellors to process their forthcoming admissions after taking a uniform entrance test by the NTS. Consequently, the NTS had advertised that it would hold a uniform entrance test for 22 universities in Pakistan simultaneously on July 15.

Meanwhile, the Punjab law department took notice of the situation that the universities were going to hold a uniform entrance test on an executive order issued by the Punjab governor in his capacity as the chancellor of public varsities.

It commented that such admissions would be without any legal effect until each university made requisite amendments to its admission regulations through its statutory bodies.

The law department had also asserted that making the admissions contingent or conditional with the appearance in NTS tests without incorporating corresponding amendments to admission regulations of the universities will not be in accordance with laws governing affairs of these varsities.

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