In a prospective randomised double-blind trial, 90 patients aged 1-7 years (ASA I) undergoing elective surgery less than 90 minutes duration were allocated into three separate groups to compare the safety and effectiveness of oral midazolam, ketamine, and low dose combination of midazolam and ketamine for premedication in paediatric patients. Group M received midazolam 0.5 mg kg(-1), group K received ketamine 6mg kg(-1) and group C received combination of ketamine 2.5 mg kg(-1) and midazolam 0.25 mg kg(-1) orally in 0.2ml kg(-1) of sugar syrup to make it palatable. The sedation score and emotional state on a four -point scale, ease of parental separation, cooperation for venepuncture, ease of mask acceptance and peri-operative cardiorespiratory status were evaluated. Peri-operative incidence of vomiting, nystagmus, emergence phenomenon and postanesthetic recovery time were noted. In the present study it was found that C group was more effective in sedating the children within 10 minutes and 20 minutes, whereas, the combination and midazolam groups are comparable in sedating the children at 30 minutes. Side-effects and recovery time were more in ketamine group. The recovery time was significantly less in group C. In conclusion oral combination of low dose ketamine and midazolam produced quick onset of satisfactory conscious sedation and more rapid recovery without significant side-effects, so that more children could be separated easily from their parents and provides smooth induction than the individual drug.