National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Monday received briefing on observance of medical and dental colleges seats quota for FATA and Balochistan. The committee meeting, chaired by Khalid Hussain Magsi, appreciated the efforts of the PMC to adhere the reserved quota of 265 seats allocated for FATA and Balochistan students in medical and dental colleges.
The Students of Balochistan and Ex. FATA areas are facing difficulties in admissions in medical and Dental Colleges of the Country under HEC Scholarship program for less developed areas during last Several years. Currently, dozens of students had plunged between HEC and PMC after taking the tests for subject seats and no decision had been finalized on the issue. Several related Parliamentary Committees had taken up the issue, but the case has not been solved permanently. The institutions involved in the case including HEC, PMC and Ministry of Finance have their own legal and technical reasons in the case. There had been numerous suggestions between HEC and PMC for settlement of the issue to fix the seats at 164, 190 or 265 during the past.
According to reports, Musharraf Government initiated incentivize scholarship program through HEC for the Students of Balochistan and FATA in 2006 and allotted 29 seats in Medical and Dental Colleges (14 seats to Ex. FATA and 15 Seats to Balochistan). Each year, HEC takes examination and forward a list of qualified students to PMC for adjustment in various medical colleges. Later, government increased the seats from 29 to 265. In 2017, PMDC lowered the numbers of quota seats back to 29 for the students of less developed areas of Balochistan and FATA. The matter was taken up by the Senate Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training and officials from HEC and PMDC were summoned by the committee and issue was settled down temporarily. However, the students faced the problem each year and situation had been tackled on ad-hoc basis. In fact, huge finances are involved in the case and government has to pay for the expenditures of the students throughout the course of MBBS and BDS. There is need of realistic negotiations instead of politicization of the situation to sort out the permanent solutions of the problem and help save the future of the students of less developed areas.