The interim provincial government has taken comprehensive measures to conduct the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) again in seven districts of the province on November 26. The government’s plan includes the imposition of Section 144 around the centers, jamming mobile phones, and secure transportation of examination material from Khyber Medical University under police security.
The MDCAT test, initially conducted on September 10 by the Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (ETEA), faced significant controversy as over 280 candidates were arrested for using electronic gadgets for cheating. Responding to the outcry, the provincial cabinet canceled MDCAT on September 28, directing Khyber Medical University (KMU) to re-administer the test, a decision upheld by the Peshawar High Court.
The government has entrusted Abid Majeed, the additional chief of the secretary of the home and tribal affairs department, to ensure the security of staff involved in the transportation of test material to various centers in designated cities. With 46,220 candidates expected to appear in the test across seven districts, stringent security measures are in place.
The plan involves police deployment during printing, packaging, transportation, and scanning of examination material, along with the installation of walk-through gates, scanners at entrance points, and police presence around the centers. Lady police constables will be deployed, given that 58% of the candidates are female, and traffic management and parking arrangements will be optimized.
Additionally, mobile phone services will be suspended around centers during the test duration, and power supply will be ensured. The special branch and other intelligence agencies will monitor for any illegal activities, reporting for remedial measures and arrests if necessary. The involvement of FIA will focus on cyber aspects, including the imposition of Section-144 around all centers to prevent unfair means.