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PA criticizes equal female seats in educational institutes

By Rana Kashif and Nauman Tasleem

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly (PA) members have criticised the allocation of equal seats to female students in educational institutions, and demanded a review of the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) in this regard.

The debate started when Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Syed Hasan Mutiza asked the health minister about the number of male and female students in medical colleges in the province, before and after the implementation of the open merit policy. He also asked about the steps the department had taken to tackle the increase in the number of female students and the steps the department had taken regarding the reserved seats of female students.

Health Minister Nadeem Kamran responded to the questions and said before the 1989-90 SC decision the proportion of male and female students in MBBS was equal, while there were 510 seats in total. He said in 1991 the allocation of seats on the basis of gender was stopped and the current distribution of students in medical colleges was 701 males and 1166 females. He said the department had not given any new suggestions as the SC had made the decision.

Special status: The mover of the motion said women were already enjoying a special status and had separate queues at banks and post offices to pay bills. MPA Sajid Mir said women were already ignored in every sector and ensuring the protection of their rights was necessary.

MPA Shiekh Allauddin raised a point of order and said 55 percent of women who got degrees did not serve in their fields for various reasons, including marriage. He said the practice was a wastage of billions of rupees of the nation’s money. Speaker of the House Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan pointed out that there was already an SC decision regarding the matter. Allaudin replied that the SC decision could be reviewed. Another MPA pointed out that the dropout rate for female students from professional colleges was about 40 percent, adding that such statistics should be kept in view while making policies.

Equal rights: Opposition member MPA Amna Ulfat said there were numerous male students who joined the Central Superior Service (CSS) after getting degrees in law and engineering. She said women had a right to an equal number of seats in every professional sector. Another MPA suggested that female students getting professional degrees should be asked to fill a bond requiring a minimum of five years of service in a field relating to their degrees. The health minister supported the suggestion and said it would be brought under consideration.

Source: Daily Times

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