Balochistan students demand restoration of medical seats
File Photo: Baloch Students launched long march from Multan to Islamabad: Photo taken from Twitter

Balochistan students demand restoration of medical seats

Editorial :

Since the announcement of results by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), students of Balochistan have been protesting for the restoration of medical seats. The students complain the PMC decreased the number of medical seats for the province from 134 to only 14.

Almost five decades ago, the federal government had reserved medical seats for the students of Balochistan in the higher education commission to provide them an equal better academic atmosphere.

Balochistan is lagging behind other provinces in key social-indicators 

The province that covers half of the country in terms of area is lagging behind other provinces in terms of key social indicators including education. Educational institutions paint a bleak picture in Balochistan when it comes to quality education.

In view of backwardness and poor quality of education, the federal government had given some concessions to students of Balochistan the erstwhile FATA. Since the establishment of Bolan Medical College in the 1970s,  shining students from Balochistan used to study on provincial quota at Nishtar Medical College, King Edward College, and other prestigious medical institutions.

Balochistan seats in Punjab’s prestigious medical institutions

The former chief minister Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif doubled reserved seats of medical students from 11 to 22 for Balochistan in 2008. The students getting better score would get a chance to study in the well-reputed medical institutions.

However, the Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) led government in Punjab has asked the students from Balochistan to study in Dera Ghazi Khan medical college rather than the prestigious institutions.

This has prompted the students to stage protest demonstrations. Balochistan students called on the Punjab law minister to mount pressure on the government to restore their admissions to King Edward and other institutions.

Balochistan has three medical colleges 

Balochistan has only three functional medical colleges including the Bolan Medical College, Khuzdar Medical College, and Loralai Medical College. One military-run Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences (QIMS). Although, the BMC administration deserves appreciation for increasing seats of MBBS this year. However, students of the province need the attention of the federal government in general and PMC in particular for the restoration of 134 seats of MBBS.

Poor governance coupled with deteriorating law and order situation has compounded the problems of the people of Balochistan during the last two decades. Students are not an exception indeed.

The federal government and Punjab government must come up with a solution to issues faced by students of Balochistan. The Balochistan government should also go beyond statements and practically convince the two governments to restore the medical seats of Balochistan.

Balochistan students demand restoration of medical seats

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.