The interim government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has announced that it will re-conduct the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) on November 26, 2023. This decision comes in response to a cheating scandal that marred the original test held on September 10, 2023.
The initial MDCAT was cancelled after dozens of students were arrested for using electronic devices to cheat during the examination. The cheating was widespread, with incidents reported at various examination centres across the country. In particular, at least 10 aspiring doctors were arrested in Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan) and 43 candidates were taken into custody in Peshawar. All of the detainees were found to be using Bluetooth devices for alleged cheating.
Following these irregularities and allegations of paper leaks, over 80 candidates appealed to the Peshawar High Court (PHC), seeking cancellation of the paper. The court issued an order on October 9, directing the re-conduction of the test.
In preparation for the fresh test, a meeting chaired by caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan was held. The meeting decided to form a committee led by the additional chief secretary to implement the plan. Examination centres will be established in Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Abbottabad, DI Khan, Kohat, and Lower Dir to accommodate the 46,220 registered candidates who are expected to participate in the test.
The government officials also approved Khyber Medical University’s (KMU) action plan to ensure transparency in the MDCAT. Furthermore, 219 candidates who were involved in using unfair means during the previous test have been blacklisted.
In a move to ease the burden on students, the government has decided that already registered candidates for MDCAT 2023 will not be charged a fee for the fresh test. This decision is expected to provide some relief to the students who have been affected by the cancellation of the original examination.