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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Father of Army dental corps passes away

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 19, 2014
First Published: 22:39 IST(19/6/2014) | Last Updated: 22:40 IST(19/6/2014)

Major General Kartar Singh, one of the first dental surgeons the country produced, passed away on Thursday.

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He was 95 and a resident of Panchkula. The information of his death was confirmed by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, where his body was donated for research.

Singh was among the first batch of graduates in dental surgery from de Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore. He studied there from 1936-1940 and was commissioned into the Indian Medical Service - Dental Branch (later the Army Dental Corps).

After the British left, he was the seniormost Army Dental Corps officer in the country. He became the head of the Dental Services in January 1951 and remained at the helm till October 1971. For his contribution in nurturing the growth of the Dental Corps, he is widely considered as the Father of the Corps.

“He is regarded as a pioneer in the field of dentistry, and especially called the father of Army Dental Corps. With his death an era in the history of Indian dentistry comes to an end,” said Dr Ashok Utreja, former head, PGI’s Oral Health Sciences Centre.

At the national level, he was member of the Dental Health Advisory Committee in the ICMR for over 10 years and was its chairman for the last three years of his service. As a result of his contribution to a WHO seminar on ‘Dental Health in Developing Countries’, he was appointed on the panel of WHO short-term consultants in 1968 and was inducted as a member of the WHO’s Dental Health Advisory Committee from 1970-75. He was the honorary dental surgeon to the President for 10 years (1962-72).

The Army recognised his services by decorating him with the Param Vashista Sewa Medal. Professional bodies like the Indian Dental Association conferred on him their honorary membership. International College of Dentistry, Academy of Dentistry International and Pierre Fauchard Academie bestowed their honorary fellowships on him.

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