Though the demand of professional courses is on rise, some streams are facing difficulty in finding seat takers. Over 800 BDS seats have gone vacant in Karnataka after the counseling for admission to BDS courses ended. Academicians have expressed concern over this and stated that this is the result of supply exceeding the demand.
When the counseling held by the KEA (Karnataka Examinations Authority) ended, 259 BDS seats were left vacant. Out of a total of 748 dental seats under COMEDK (Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka), 550 were vacant thus accounting for 73% vacancies.
Reasons for vacant seats
Academic experts reveal that large number of new dental colleges coming up in the state is one of the major reasons. Also with the setting up of dental colleges in other states, very few students migrate to Karnataka for pursuing dental courses. However, the rise in vacant seats does not indicate that students have lost interest in the profession instead many people are opting for healthcare courses. There are no vacant seats in any of the 5 top colleges.
Academicians and students expressed that this is an alarming situation for private dental colleges and government as they should take initiatives to promote this sector. Colleges have to incur heavy loss of money if seats go vacant and if this practice continues, there will be a decline in the infrastructure.
After finishing BDS degree students can either opt for private practice or pursue their master’s degree. The 43 government and private dental colleges in Karnataka contribute about 3200 BDS seats while less than 950 seats are available at postgraduate level.
Students revealed that the salary package offered to BDS graduates is very low and varies between Rs 5000 and Rs 10,000. Moreover, pursuing postgraduate degree requires huge investment.
Meanwhile academicians expressed that the dentists are spread unevenly across the state. Most of the dental doctors prefer to serve in urban areas and that is why rural areas are deprived of dentists. The profession needs to offer lucrative incentives to the dentists for working in rural areas. Besides, making rural people aware about oral hygiene and including oral health in primary healthcare could boost the demand of dental doctors in remote areas.
Source: The Hindu
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