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Now, it is mandatory for all undergraduate dental students to undergo a one-year-internship before getting their BDS degree.
For the first time ever, the internship will also include a three-month compulsory rural posting. Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has approved the re-introduction of a one-year rotational, compulsory and paid internship in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course. The course will be for four years along with an additional one-year internship. Though the new norm would be implemented from this academic year (2011-12), it would be applicable for batches admitted in the 2008-09 session. In 2007, the Dental Council of India (DCI) had made the BDS degree a five-year "all classroom" course, dropping the need for any hands-on training with patients. A ministry official said, "Students on completion of a four-year theoretical BDS course will have to undertake the year-long clinical programme. This is on similar lines to what the Medical Council of India (MCI) has done with the revised MBBS curriculum. " DCI officials say, the rationale behind dropping the internship in 2007 was lack of seriousness on students' part. "Most of the dental colleges in India are private. A majority of students wouldn't attend the internship, and obtain a fake certificate. On the other hand, in the final year there were nine subjects that were difficult to complete in a year, and students were put under too much pressure. Hence, BDS was made a five-year course without internship. However, it is now felt that internship is crucial. It will give the student a hands-on experience, " the official said. Internships were first introduced in 1992-93 after dental science was recognized as a professional course like medicine and engineering. The Union health ministry order said, "The revised BDS course - 3rd Amendment Regulations, 2011 - also incorporate three months of compulsory rural attachment. All parts of internship will be done in a dental college duly recognized/approved by Dental Council of India for the purpose of imparting education to dental graduates in the country." "The compulsory rotational paid internship is aimed at improving training in all the different specialities of dentistry. On critical analysis, it was realized that the internship period in dental/medical course provides for better opportunities for practical training and skill development. Internship programme in dentistry are mandatory in most of the countries across the world. " India has 249 private dental colleges and 40 government colleges, who among them produce 23, 380 dentists a year. DCI's new chairman Dr Dibyendu Mazumdar has also written to all chief ministers not to send proposals for opening of private dental colleges. Last year, not a single new dental college was given permission to start the undergraduate course even though 45 new colleges - 95% of which were private - had applied to DCI seeking permission to start new admissions. Dr Anil Kohli, a former head of DCI, said India does not require new dental colleges. "There is hardly any employment opportunity for dentists in India. We must not open new dental colleges anymore but give accreditation to the old ones under three categories - doing well, can improve and bad. Colleges coming under the last category should be shut down." DCI's senior members feel that dental education has become a lucrative business, which is diluting quality in the country. "There is a serious dearth of visiting faculty. It has become a lucrative business to start a new dental college. This explains the sudden spurt in the number of dental colleges applying for permission, " Dr Kohli said. DCI has made it mandatory for professors teaching at under-graduate level to stay in the same college for at least a year, while those teaching post-graduate course for three years. It has also made continuing medical education, or CME mandatory - 20 hours a year and 100 hours for five years.
Courtesy: Times of India
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