New Delhi: Hundreds of Dentists from across the country poured into the city of Delhi last week and assembled at the Jantar Mantar to voice their discontent against the growing corruption within the Dental Council of India (DCI). The dentists holding anti corruption placards urged the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to intervene in issues plaguing ‘Dental Education’ in India.
The assembled dentists in the city claimed that dental education & dental healthcare had witnessed a steep downward slide and felt that there was urgent need for ministry intervention, for matters to take a turn for the better.
“Corruption is prevailing in dental education in India. When it comes to inspection or opening of a dental college, an orchestrated manoeuvre is being followed by a select coterie. Inspectors manipulating reports, pass them in executive committees and many a times send recommendations without the approval of the general body, which is mandatory as per law. If the institutions do not oblige, they are subjected to harassment. Favours are obtained in several forms, besides pecuniary benefits. Despite several CBI cases, corruption thrives unabated,” said Dr G Rathinakumar, a practicing dentist.
“Capitation fee, though banned, is still imposed on students. Capitation fee is the mother and source of strength for corruption. Ingenious ways are invented to overlook NEET and some institutions have already taken capitation fee for the upcoming academic year,” he added.
The dentists who reached Jantar Mantar from all over to protest against corruption in the DCI have alleged that the government is not paying attention to the election and nomination of members to the Dental Council, as mandated.
“A lot of members are accepted illegally from State Dental Tribunals which are invalid today,” said Dr JM Jeyaraj, a Tamil Nadu, Dental Practitioner.
The Union Health Ministry should expedite all corruption cases and eliminate illegal members of the Council, demanded the dentists group, protesting in the capital.
“The central government should validate all elected and nominated members as per the Dentist Act and DCI election rules 1952 and notify them. The ministry should expel Dr Mazumdar and entrust the council’s vice president to act as president till fresh elections are held,” said Dr Jeyaraj.
Last month in an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the apex investigating body alleged rampant corruption in the DCI. It implicated the Council’s President, Dr Dibyendu Mazumdar and Former Secretary, Dr SK Ojha for charges of corruption.
Dr Mazumdar is facing charges of alleged irregularities, including those of receiving fiscal benefits from private colleges in exchange for an increase in number of BDS/MDS seats.
“We are investigating the matter of Dr Mazumdar. We are also looking into other issues,” Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Arun Singhal told the DNA.