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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

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Drsumitra's picture
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The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed the notifications issued by the Dental Council of India (DCI) proposing to conduct a single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to select candidates for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all types of dental colleges across the country.

Justice A.S. Bopanna passed the interim order on the petitions filed by the Karnataka Private Medical and Dental Colleges’ Association and JSS University, a deemed university, challenging the notifications issued by the DCI on May 31, 2012.

Pointing out that there were many shortcomings in the notifications that would jeopardise the careers of lakhs of students all over India if not addressed, the association also contended that the curriculum followed in Classes 11 and 12 in all the States was different from the curriculum proposed for the NEET exam. “This has created tremendous confusion in the minds of the students as the teachers are not trained to teach the proposed syllabus,” it has been stated in the petitions.

It said that the DCI issued the notifications under the power granted to it, but such a power could not override the prevailing process of admission to dental courses in Karnataka under the provisions of the legislative enactment.

It has been claimed in the petitions that the notifications contemplating NEET were issued without providing any opportunity to the petitioners, as well as the Karnataka government, to be heard.

Stating that issue of notifications was contrary to various verdicts of the Supreme Court, the association said that the notifications were contrary to the autonomy granted by the apex court to unaided institutions offering professional courses to adopt a fair, transparent and non-exploitive admission process based on merit.

The notifications issued by the DCI also interfered with the autonomy of the deemed universities, which were granted greater autonomy in the admissions process, the petitions stated.

 

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

More than 800 BDS seats remain vacant in the State this year, and academics are worried

Professional courses may not have lost flavour completely with the students, but some streams are fighting tooth and nail for survival. With more than 800 dental seats remaining vacant in Karnataka at the end of the counselling for entrance into Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) this year, academicians point out that this situation is a cause of concern and reflects a disparity in the demand and supply for dental seats.

At the end of the counselling conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority after taking up the Common Entrance Test, 259 dental seats were remaining. A major chunk of the seats under the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) — to the extent of 73 per cent — were left vacant as there were no takers for 550 out of the total 748 dental seats.

A.S. Srikanth, Chief Executive, COMED-K, pointed out that there is a gap between demand and supply this year. He also said that there was a need for the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) to look into the issue.

After assessing the number of vacant dental seats over the past five years in the State, Jayakar Shetty M., Executive Committee member of the Dental Council of India (DCI), said that the Council instructed the State Government and the Universities to stop giving permission for the establishment of new dental colleges.

The reasons

Academicians point out that several private dental colleges have been set up in the State, which has resulted in this situation. B. Suresh, Vice-Chancellor of JSS University, said, “Earlier there were a large number of students coming from other States to pursue BDS in Karnataka. Now dental colleges have been set up in other States, so students do not come here to study.”

However, he maintained that the vacant seats in the State do not indicate that students are moving away from the profession. “I would say that there is a reverse curve in the healthcare sector and more people are taking up the health courses. All top colleges have no seats remaining vacant.”

Wake-up call

Professors and students said that this situation should act as a wake-up call to the government and private dental colleges to take up measures to give this sector a boost. A dental professor, on the condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that colleges lose out on money if the seats are not filled and that that if the trend continues the infrastructure of the colleges may decline.

Explaining the reasons for the scarce demand for dental seats at the bachelor’s level, M.V. Ramachandra Prasad, Associate Professor, Government Dental College and Research Institute, said, “A BDS degree is not enough and students have to pursue a PG degree to get good job offers.”

After completing the BDS degree, students have an option of taking up a job at a private clinic or pursuing their master’s. In the 43 private and government dental colleges in Karnataka, around 3,200 BDS seats are available, but at the postgraduate level less than 950 seats are available. For instance, the Government Dental College and Research Institute, Bangalore, has 60 seats for BDS but only 22 for the PG course.

Students said that the job prospects after completing BDS were bleak and the salaries, extremely low. In private clinics, the current market rate for freshers ranges between Rs.5,000 and Rs 10,000. Smitha G., a postgraduate dental student, said that graduates had the option of starting their own clinic or pursue higher studies. She also said that the course, apart from being expensive, also requires a student to invest in expensive instruments.

Kaushik Patnaik, a postgraduate student in the Government Dental College and Research Institute, said that the dental field was in a “sorry” state.

He also said that several colleges do not have good infrastructure. He pointed out that while colleges in bigger cities had most of their seats filled, the huge number of vacant seats were in colleges in smaller towns.

Uneven spread

While some professors point out that there is a shortage of dentists in the State, some other professors argue that the dentists are not spread across the State.

An Associate Professor of a reputed dental college pointed out that the number of dentists in urban areas has reached the saturation point. Not many dentists are willing to go to the rural areas as the amenities are not adequate. He suggested that providing incentives for dentists to work in the rural areas and increasing the job opportunities will help in giving the field a boost. Apart from that, increasing awareness about oral hygiene in rural areas and making oral health a part of primary healthcare could increase the demand for dentists in rural areas.

Awareness needed

Mr. Suresh said that increasing awareness about the career options and ensuring the quality of the institutes would help. “The Dental Council of India also needs to restrict the number of colleges and ensure that quality is delivered,” he added.

Mr. Prasad mentioned that increasing the PG seats will go a long way in attracting students to pursue dental courses at the undergraduate level. Apart from that he emphasised on the need for the government to hire dentists regularly.

Smitha G. said that reworking the course and reducing its duration by one year may help in attracting more students.

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

 Three strong political opponents of the ruling UPA coalition have torpedoed the government's plan to do away with scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) and Dental Council of India (DCI).

Though as many as 10 states backed the National Commission for Human Resources for Health Bill, 2011, stiff opposition from Mamata Banerjee, Narendra Modi and Jayalalitha sealed the bill's fate in the Parliamentary Standing Committee which was examining the legislation.

Officials representing West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu raised several questions on the rationale of forming the over-arching regulatory commission for medical education, loaded with “experts” picked by the Centre.

Barely two months before Trinamool Congress severed ties with the Congress-led UPA government, the principal secretary of West Bengal informed the Parliamentary panel that the state was not in favour of passing the bill in its present form as it proposed shifting self-regulation of professional bodies to a central and technocratic regulator.
“A properly strengthened individual council with a term limit and definition of the office bearers as public servants in terms of Indian Penal Code, besides an accountability mechanism in place would suit the need better than having an over-arching body with gigantic mandate,” he said in his deposition on July 31.

Besides MCI and DCI, the proposed NCHRH sought to replace Indian Nursing Council and Pharmacy Council of India with an umbrella organisation.
Three separate bodies

The apex council would have three constituent bodies to look after educational standards, enforcement and ethical medical practice.

“The bill attempts to create a mechanism so overwhelming that it is likely to breed delays. The three constituent bodies are purely nominative in character and there is no democratic element. Since medical education is a concurrent subject, some representation to the states is a must in the proposed commission,” said principal secretary to Gujarat government, in his statement, which is a part of the Parliament panel’s report, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald.

This would undermine the powers of the state governments and leave them with no role to play in policy issues, said Tamil Nadu in its deposition.

While the Central government sought to eradicate corruption from professional medical education bodies, the states insisted that determining term limits and definition of office bearers and a provision to remove them in case of blatant corruption or misuse of official power would have sufficed to cleanse the existing councils.

Rejection of the NCHRH Bill by the House panel and possible revival of the MCI may figure at the state health ministers’ conference here on Friday to discuss issues concerning medical education and human resources versus health.

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN MDS/PG DIPLOMA COURSES...ENTRANCE EXAM DETAILS CAN BE SEEN ON THE FOLLOWING SITE

http://aiimsonline.in/pdf/Prospectus_NEET_MDS.pdf

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

Medical Council of India bars varsities from starting PG, post-doctoral courses
In a blow to lakhs of doctors across the country, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has barred all health universities from starting any post-graduate or post-doctoral certificate course this year.

The PDCC courses can be done by doctors with an MD to enable them to perform specialized procedures. "For instance, a doctor cannot perform an angiogram unless she has completed this 18-month fellowship or the PDCC course.

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

The Armed Forces Medical College ((AFMC) will no longer conduct its own entrance examination for medical courses and the students wishing to join the institute will now have to appear for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) which will come into effect this year.

The NEET will be held for the first time on May 5 across the country. NEET is a qualifying entrance exam for students wishing to pursue undergraduate medical or dental course or a post-graduate course in government and private medical colleges in the country. NEET - UG, for MBBS and BDS courses, will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education. NEET - UG will replace the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves.

NEET was proposed to be held from 2012 but was deferred by a year by the CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) owing to technical issues.

AFMC Commandant Air Marshal B Keshav Rao said as per the new guidelines, the college will no longer conduct its own examination. The National Board of Exam will make the merit list and students will have to mention their options for admission to AFMC. Last year, as many as 70,484 candidates appeared for the UG entrance examination. A total of 1,194 were shortlisted for the interview for 150 seats at AFMC.

The Commandant said the college has also started psychometric assessment of medical cadets. Besides, the college has also approved the setting up of an examination centre with a seating capacity of 1,000 students. A training course on sports medicines will also be introduced this academic year, he said.

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

Postgraduate medical and dental seat aspirants staged a protest in Bangalore on Sunday pressing for the need to have one common examination for admission in medical and dental colleges across the country. They alleged that there was corruption in the seat selection process and stated that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) would bring in transparency in the process.

They also protested against the alleged corruption in the admission process across the country due to multiple examinations conducted by various private examination bodies and colleges.

Pritam Kitoy, a graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, said, “We have come here in support of NEET. Almost 90,000 students appeared for NEET last year and private colleges have filed a case against NEET.” “NEET offers thousands of seats under the umbrella of one exam, offering more opportunities nationally for deserving candidates,” said Madhumita S., a medical graduate from Tamil Nadu.

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DCI notifications proposing single entrance test stayed

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, today strongly opposed the introduction of a National Eligibility Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate and PG courses in dental colleges. She said such a move would hamper the smooth implementation of the reservation policy.

In a letter to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, she said she came to know that the Dental Council of India has issued a gazette notification to this effect and recalled her Government’s objection to such entrance tests for under-graduate and post-graduate medical courses.

Jayalalithaa said entrance exam for professional courses has been abolished in the State since 2007 after an Expert Panel found such exams put students from rural and lower socio-economic backgrounds at a disadvantage, due to the lack of geographical and financial access to training centres.

Such entrance examinations result in the growth of expensive coaching centres, she said.

Noting that the State has been following 69 per cent reservation for Backward and Most Backward Communities and SCs and STs in professional courses, she said the introduction of a National Eligibility Entrance Test would “create confusion and litigation in the smooth implementation of this reservation policy both in under-graduate and post-graduate admissions.”

Strongly protesting the move by the DCI, Jayalalithaa urged that the State may be exempted from the test and allowed to continue with its existing system for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate dental seats.

 

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