January 11, 2021.
TED NewsDesk, Bengaluru: Even after a second counselling session held by the Karnataka Examinations Authority, more than half of the 2,800 dental seats in Karnataka colleges are empty. The empty seats are a point of worry for the Dental Council of India (DCI), who suggests easing the eligibility criteria for admission.
Dr Shrinivasan, a member of DCI informed that he had a meeting with the medical education minister K Sudhakar, requesting him to consider lowering the NEET eligibility criteria by 20 % points as the DCI has suggested. Dr Shrinivasan also informed that there have been empty BDS seats in previous academic sessions as well, and not just in Karnataka but also in other states.
He added, “To tide over the situation of vacant seats, the ministry of health and family welfare had lowered the eligibility of NEET percentile in the previous years and extended the last date of BDS admission 15 days beyond the last date of medical admission.”
To provide students with more time, the ministry of medical education has shifted the deadline for admission for the 2020-2021 BDS from January 15 to January 30. Dr Shrinivasan added, “We hope that the government will look into the percentile issue.”
He explained the reason many seats are unfulfilled is that many medical and dental colleges have improved their infrastructure and added more seats. Earlier the colleges that offered 150 seats now offer 250 seats, but with increased seats, the eligibility criteria have remained the same, leading to empty seats.
In related news, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences is planning to set up a regional research centre in Mangaluru. Additionally, the DCI is also planning to establish a dental research lab in Maryhill. This will add to the pre-existing 44 dental institutions in Karnataka.
According to Dr Shrinivasan, “A dental research lab will be a boon, especially to postgraduate students dependent on medical research labs or NITK labs for their thesis. It will have a full-time dedicated staff for dental research. The tendering process is expected to commence soon.”
Source: Times of India