For 1,200 dental students in Madhya Pradesh, studies have become akin to a worsening toothache. Such is the lag in the five-year graduation course at a chunk of the colleges that it may take almost 6-8 years to complete.
Random data will suffice to throw light at the gravity of the situation: the final results of the 2009-10 BDS batch were out only last month, while students who joined in 2010-11 are doing internship. Those of the 2011-12 batch are yet to give their fourth-year examination.
Madhya Pradesh has 6,000 students doing bachelors (BDS) and masters (MDS) in dental surgery in the state’s 12 institutes—two of them functioning under Jiwaji university. No less than 1,200 students are currently affected by a sustained lag in the course, which is regulated country-wide by the Dental Council of India (DCI).
The BDS (bachelor of dental surgery) course comprises four years of study followed by a year’s internship. The three-year post-graduate training, MDS, offers specialisiation in a range of advanced subjects.
Track records show Madhya Pradesh’s dental colleges that hold annual BDS exams in a span of two years, much to the exasperation of students. Such waste of time is also perturbing authorities, some of who cited difficult rules as a reason.
‘Delay due to tough regulations set by the MCI and DCI’
When HT contacted Jiwaji varsity, its exam controller AK Shrivastava spoke of the “tough regulations” set by the Medical Council of India and DCI.
“If a (dentistry) college fails to complete 240 teaching days in a year, it will lead to delay in the examination,” he pointed out.
Experts, though, say conducting examinations time-bound is possible if the university or college is strict on academic matters.
Agrees Dr Saji Thomas, the dean of a private dental university: “We have fixed timing for examinations; so we complete the course and number of classes on time.”
Such promptness can help organize timely conducting of exams and declaration of results. He adds. The student community is worried. A third-year student of a college affiliated with 1964-founded Jiwaji University said it took him two years to complete the second year of course. “Now, I am waiting for months to give my third-year exams. It is really a major problem,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Students from Kashmir have an added problem: they are doing dentistry courses with the benefits of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme. Once the course spills beyond stipulated time, they have to themselves bear the accommodation expenses.
A female student from Srinagar said her family back home was worried, adding the case was no different with her state-mates. “Some of us are being compelled to discontinue the course,” he revealed.
“We have requested the college administration to ensure completion of the course in time, but they say it is in the university’s hand.”Adds another student: “A friend of mine is doing MDS; it’s facing a lag too.”