SHC orders NTS to be included in VCs, students’ plea


The Sindh High Court ordered on Thursday the inclusion of the National Testing Service (NTS) as a party in petitions filed by the vice-chancellors (VCs) and students of five universities pertaining to admissions to medical colleges amid the ongoing tussle between Sindh and the Centre.
The federal and Sindh governments submitted their replies on the petitions during the hearing. The deputy attorney general maintained that the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) had been established and was working according to the law, adding that entry tests and admissions in medical colleges were not directly related to the Ministry of Health.
Moreover, the PMC lawyer stated that a uniform syllabus had been developed in consultation with the VCs of universities across the country. However, the Sindh assistant prosecutor general stated that the syllabus in the province differed from that in the rest of the provinces, adding that the PMC had fixed November 15 as the next test date.
The matter would have been easier if the provinces had taken their exams first, remarked the court, pointing out that the issue was affecting 30,000 students and stressing the need to make laws that would facilitate them. The court questioned how the students would prepare for the tests under such confusion.
At this, the PMC lawyer claimed that Sindh was not cooperating with the authority. However, the petitioners’ counsel maintained if the PMC’s entrance test took place, it would complicate matters for the students.
Meanwhile, claiming that the NTS had made all arrangements for the test and borne its expenses, the NTS lawyer requested it should also be made a party in the case. The court ordered that the NTS be included as a party in the petitions and ordered the deputy attorney general to give arguments on the PMC’s legal standing at the next hearing. The court adjourned the hearing till October 28.

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