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100 more seats in engineering

100 more seats in engineering

LAHORE: At least 100 seats have been added to engineering institutions of Punjab this year for BSc Engineering and BS Technology courses, says University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid.

The number of seats would further be increased next year in consultation with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), Prof Khalid told newsmen after visiting most of the 34 halls on the UET’s Lahore campus, where the test was conducted on Sunday.

The decision had been taken to accommodate more students in the engineering institutes, he said while adding that the government would also be requested to provide special funds to meet expenditure on the increased seats.

A proposal would be submitted with the HEC and the PEC to centralise from next year the entrance test for admission to engineering institutes all over the country on the pattern of medical and dental colleges, said Prof Khalid.

More than 44,000 candidates appeared in the 100-minute multiple choice questions test for about 6,000 seats in the public and private engineering institutes of Punjab accredited with the PEC.

Special measures were adopted to ensure secrecy and transparency of the test conducted in a peaceful environment at 13 centres all over the province. However, some A-Level students complained about the pattern of the test, terming it based totally on FSc syllabus.

Aleena got As in physics, chemistry and mathematics papers of A-Level examinations but was not satisfied with her performance in the entrance test. “There should be separate quota and merit for A-Level students,” she said.

Mahwish also got As in the pre-engineering group of the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) but was unhappy with the entrance test system. “Soon after conclusion of my CIE early in June, I approached a private academy for the preparation of the combined entrance test but left it after three days. It was not possible for me to cover two-year FSc course in two or three months,” she said.

A Gujranwala BISE student was in favour of entrance test. “It prevents the sons and daughters of influential people from getting admissions to professional colleges through back-door channels,” said the boy who wished not to be named.

Sohaib had come to appear in the test on a wheel-chair. “No Sir, I was not doing wheelie when I got my feet fractured. I was hit by a speeding rickshaw,” he said while adding that the test provided a chance to the students who somehow could not perform well in the FSc examinations.

Zainul Abideen proposed that the entrance test should be conducted soon after conclusion of FSc examinations, if inevitable. “Why don’t the authorities ensure credibility of the examinations conducted by boards?”

Both Sidra and Nimra were also against the test though they performed well. “Instead of conducting entrance test, the government should force the private engineering institutions to charge reasonable but affordable fee from talented students,” said Nimra.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2015

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