LAHORE:A COMBINED entrance test for admission to engineering institutes of the province was conducted by University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, on Sunday was cancelled following the university administration received reports of leak of the question paper.
The test was conducted successfully and right after that the UET Lahore administration announced to cancel it, admitting that it had received vital information about the leak of the test content.
Around 41,000 candidates had appeared in the test in different centres as besides the UET Lahore, the test was simultaneously held at other parts of the country. An amount of Rs 350 was collected from each student for appearing in the test and it is learnt that whenever the test would be rescheduled, no fee would be charged from the students. There are around 4,000 seats in different engineering institutes of Punjab, including around 2,000 alone in the UET Lahore, and the university itself conducts entrance test for all the institutes as mandated by the Punjab government. Besides the UET Lahore, the test was conducted at UET Taxila, Bahauddin Zakariya University s Engineering College, Multan, Islamia University, Bahawalpur (IUB), NFC Institute of Engineering Research & Fertilizer, Faisalabad, University of Gujrat, Siddeeq Public School, 6th Road, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar and Balochistan Boys Scout Association Office, Quetta.
It is pertinent to mention here that quite recently, entrance test for the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for admission to its BE/BS Mathematics/BCS scheduled for July 17, 2011 (Morning Session) was cancelled following reports emerged about the leak of the question paper.
The growing incidents of paper leak have raised serious doubts about working of the test conducting bodies besides highlighting powerful mafia involved in the whole process.
The news regarding cancellation of the entrance test caused great anxiety among the candidates who had strongly criticised the Punjab government for its failure to ensure transparency and wasting their precious time as now the test would be rescheduled after a couple of weeks. The stakeholders criticised the UET Lahore VC and termed the latest incident as his failure being the top administrator of the university.
It is important to mention here that Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan won fourth extension as the UET Lahore s VC in 2010 after his third term expired in February 2010. His critics argue that the VC should resign as he could not ensure transparency in the test and caused unrest among thousands of students. However, those in favour of the VC said it was a bold and justified decision on the part of the VC to cancel the test after it was conducted successfully, adding that it was the first incident of its kind in the UET s history and its handling would expose real administrative qualities of the VC.
Sources in the UET administration revealed that as per preliminary investigations, it had been confirmed that a mobile camera was used by someone to capture some content of the paper. They said some UET employees might be involved in the incident. They further said that once investigated properly, the incident might lead to unearthing powerful mafia involved in the entrance test.
It is learnt that Punjab Governor Latif Khosa, who is also chancellor of the province s public sector universities, immediately called the UET Lahore vice-chancellor and directed him to hold an inquiry into the matter and award exemplary punishment to those responsible for leak of the question paper.. A UET spokesman said a three-member committee, comprising Dr Zubair A Khan, Dr M Ali and Prof Dr Muhammad Akram, had been formed by the VC to dig out the facts and submit a comprehensive report in this regard. When contacted, UET Vice Chancello Lt Gen (r) Akram Khan said the committee had been asked to submit the report within a week. He confirmed that the university had received unconfirmed information about leak of the paper before conduct of the test but since there was no concrete evidence available they decided to hold the test. However, he further said, after the test was conducted, the university got confirmed evidence according to which some portion of the test was leaked. The VC said that instead of keeping silence, he had decided to cancel the test in the best interest of the students.
About the next date of the entrance test, Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan said that since result of intermediate annual examination 2011 was yet to be announced, there was plenty of time to reschedule the test.The news.