With many Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) seats vacant in Punjab after the first round of counselling, the state government has decided to hold a fresh examination to fill these.
The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, will conduct this test in the last week of this month or by the first week of August, and invite fresh applications. The state department of medical education has written to vice-chancellor Dr SS Gill in this regard.
Of the 858 BDS seats, 653 were vacant after the first centralised counselling on June 25, and the 205 filled will be empty when the takers move to the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) course, where the state pool now has 200 more seats (150 at Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar, and 50 at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot).
Anticipating an empty BDS batch at the end of the second counseling for the MBBS seats, a worried BFUHS had earlier shot an SOS to principal secretary for medical education Vini Mahajan. "If the seats in the dental colleges of Punjab remain vacant, it'll be bad for the state's economy as well," the V-C had written.
Earlier, Punjab Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges Association said that 1,000 vacant BDS seats would mean a loss of Rs. 40 crore over the year and `200 crore over five years to the state. Nearly 5,000 employees of the dental colleges and their families will be affected.
The state has 14 private and two government dental colleges with 1,070 and 80 BDS seats, respectively.