LAHORE:August 26:Around 74,502 candidates, including 48,472 female and 26,030 male, appeared in Medical and Dental Colleges’ Admission Test (MDCAT) which was conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Sunday. The test, started at 10am, went of peacefully at 33 centres set up in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, DG Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Hassan Abdal. Candidates started reaching their centres at 6am. A total of 5,820 teachers, including 314 superintendents and 560 deputy superintendents, performed invigilation duties at these centres. All the centres were sealed at 09:15am. A large number of police personnel were deployed at the centres to prevent any disruption of the examination. Ambulances and fire brigades were also made available at the centres to counter any untoward incident. Besides, close circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were installed at major centres. Body search of the candidates was also conducted. There were proper arrangements for the disabled students, parking and waiting area facilities for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at some of the centres. This year, biometric verification of candidates was done by NADRA mobile units. In Lahore, a total of 13,468 female and 6,472 male candidates appeared in the test at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls at Lawrence Road, Punjab University examination halls at Wahdat Road, Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Wahdat Road, Divisional Public School, Model Town, Government Postgraduate College for Women Samanabad, University of Education, Township, and Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road. UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Javed Akram visited various centres and monitored the arrangements. The vice-chancellors and principals of medical institutions were appointed as coordinators for the test. Deputy Commissioner Lahore Saleha Saeed visited the centres and monitored the arrangements for parents. In Rawalpindi, 8,898 candidates appeared in the test. The number of candidates in Multan was 11,007, Faisalabad 8,087, Gujranwala 4,080, Bahawalpur 3,833, Sargodha 3,448, Sahiwal 4,216, Gujrat 2,247, DG Khan 3,328, Rahim Yar Khan 1,998, Hassan Abdal 1,067 and in Sialkot, 2,353 candidates appeared in the test. The question paper prepared by UHS was of four codes with question shuffled in each code. The candidates were allowed to bring clip boards with them. Talking to the media persons at Punjab University, Wahdat Road centre, UHS VC, Prof Dr Javed Akram, said the conduct of MDCAT was important as it would ensure merit and justice. “We are aware of the hardship and agony these candidates and their parents have to face yet to ensure justice and fair play, transparent of MDCAT was crucial”, he said. He said that new standard operating procedures were developed and fresh multi-tiered security measures were taken for each and every step of preparation, printing, packaging and transportation of MDCAT paper. UHS VC said that medical and dental colleges had always challenged the brightest and best-prepared minds. He added that admissions were consistently becoming more competitive. “MDCAT results are extremely important. They carry 50 per cent weightage in merit as per the formula of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). They are proof that the candidate can handle the academic rigours of medical or dental college”, the VC opined. Punjab University VC Prof Niaz Ahmad, Fatima Jinnah Medical University VC Prof Aamir Zaman Khan, Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Prof Arif Tajammul were also present on the occasion. Later in the evening, UHS uploaded the answer key to the question paper on its website www.uhs.edu.pk. With the help of this key, candidates can calculate their scores themselves. The official result will be declared in a week or so after which the admission schedule will be announced. There shall be centralised admissions in both public and private colleges as per PMDC Regulations. There are 3,405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges in Punjab. Besides, there are 3,350 MBBS and 825 BDS seats in 29 private sector medical colleges and 15 dental colleges all over the province.