New Delhi:The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is reported to have contributed to an immeasurable crisis for BDS course seats with more than 50% of which are lying vacant for the year 2016-17. With the crisis deepening with every passing day, the Dental Council of India (DCI) has written to the Union Health Ministry requesting for a percentile lowering to facilitate filling of dental seats for the year 2016-17. The government had earlier decided to fill MBBS and dental seats only through NEET.
Since the admission process is to be completed by the 7th of October and colleges are finding it difficult to come up with full occupancy, representations have been received by the Dental Council of India from various states with requests for percentile being lowered to help fill vacant seats in dental institutions. “The decision taken by the General Body is communicated to the Central government to take its final decision in the matter as early as possible,” said Dental Council of India, President, Dr Dibyendu Majumdar.
Another hindrance faced in filling of dental seats is the CBSE syllabus, on the pattern of which the NEET test is based.
“General Body of the DCI has taken into consideration that the CBSE prescribed the course curriculum/syllabus of the NEET based on its syllabus and the CBSE Board exists mostly in the urban areas not in rural areas. The students of rural areas are rarely enrolled with the CBSE Board and they have pursued their courses from the board constituted by the respective state or any other board,” said Dr AK Chandna, a DCI member.
“DCI in conformity with the provisions that when sufficient number of candidates in the respective categories fail to secure minimum marks as prescribed in NEET held for any academic year for admission to MBBS/BDS courses, the Central government in consultation with MCI and DCI may at its discretion lower the minimum marks required for admission to these courses for candidates belonging to respective categories. And marks so lowered by the Central government shall be applicable for the said academic year only,” Majumdar added.
In an important development, the DCI has requested the Union Ministry of Health to lower the 50 percentile for general category and 40 percentile for reserved category to figures of 40 and 30 respectively.
“A student securing 40 percentile in general category and 30 percentile for reserved category be made eligible for admission in BDS course only for the current academic session 2016. It is not to be quoted as a precedent in the future, provided that there shall be no deviation or relaxation from academic qualification and percentage as prescribed by the DCI in its Revised BDS Course Regulation, 2007 and only those students shall be admitted who have appeared in NEET, purely on their order of merit,” Dr. Chandna further elaborated.
Rajasthan is the first state to implement lowering of percentile by 10% in order to facilitate entry of applicants into various dental colleges of the state, in a transparent fashion without compromising on merit. This is meant to be applicable for the present year only; it is not to be considered as paradigm for the coming years, added the DCI.