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WB: DCI Recommends Reducing Seats in Century-old Dental Colleges in West Bengal

Only 63 students can be admitted for dentistry education, as opposed to 125 earlier, according to the council.

Kolkata: The Dental Council of India (DCI) has suggested lowering the number of BDS seats at R Ahmed Dental College in Kolkata due to various factors, including a lack of equipment, a shortage of instructors, rusted components, a lack of manpower, etc. The DCI has suggested fewer seats be available for the upcoming academic year. Only 63 students can be admitted for dentistry education, as opposed to 125 places, according to the council.

R. Ahmed Dental College, the oldest and biggest in Asia, was recently inspected by the Dental Council of India. Following the inspection, the DCI produced a thorough report on the college's infrastructure issues. There are a total of 19 deficiencies listed in that report. According to sources, that medical college does not have access to half of the parts. Although they are all locked in the closet, students cannot use them.

Lack of necessary teaching and non-teaching staff in various fields in the college. The numbers of health workers and engineering staff are smaller. There are also not enough books. Dental chairs are rusted and unusable. Some of the machines are also rusted. It is also noted that there is no record of patients or special cases in the OPD.

In addition, the DCI has questioned the college's general cleanliness as well as the absence of a hall, issues with the hostels, the state of numerous labs, and these issues. In 2007, the number of BDS seats was raised from 50 to 100.

Considering the condition of the infrastructure, the council has asked to reduce the number of seats immediately. Along with the BDS course, a 25% reduction in the number of seats has been announced at the postgraduate level (the MDS course). Currently, there are 33 seats in MDS.

DCI, the governing body for dental education in the country, held the meeting after visiting the traditional college, which celebrated its centenary three years ago. There, it was decided to reduce the number of seats. And accordingly, recommendations have been made to the Union Ministry of Health. DCI said that due to the lack of infrastructure, there is a rush in the admission of students.

The health department of the state has become uncomfortable with such a sudden incident. Tapan Kumar Giri, who held the post of acting principal of the dental college for eight years, did not want to comment on the matter. No comment has been received from the Department of Health.

However, the state health department is trying to admit at least 125 students in BDS and 28 students in postgraduate MDS as of this year. The heads of health and education departments held a meeting on Friday.

According to a section of health officials, the Union Health Ministry has not taken a final decision on the admission of students even though the DCI has recommended reducing the seats. So, the number of seats will not be reduced this year; rather, it will be tested.

The recommendation to reduce the number of seats in the college established by Dr Rafiuddin Ahmed in 1920 due to a lack of infrastructure is considered shameful by most of the health officials with whom NewsClick spoke.

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