Even after the third round of counselling on September 10, about 455 seats for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)course are vacant, including 49 seats in the government quota, at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot.
After the first counselling, the university had to conduct a special test on August 24 to fill the vacant seats. Most of the candidates, who had cleared the all India pre-medical test, took admission in the MBBS course and BDS, the last option for many, had many seats vacant.
Tossing aside guidelines, some colleges have now started issuing advertisements offering BDS seats to aspirants who have passed their Class 12 with physics, chemistry and biology with 50% marks, besides english. This led to the director of medical research and education (DMRE) issuing a public notice on Sunday.
"Counselling sessions are being held to fill up vacant seats in MBBS and BDS courses across the state at college level. In advertisements issued by some institutions, the educational qualifications required for these courses have been mentioned as Class 12 pass, instead of the minimum marks secured in the AIPMT test, which is a violation of the notification by the state government," the public notice reads.
The notice by DMRE Punjab further reads, "The general public is informed that the eligibility for an MBBS/BDS courses is 50% marks in AIPMT for the general category and 40% marks for the reserved category. The state government has not given any approval to fill up these seats on the basis of marks obtained in Class 12. If any admissions are made on this basis, those would be cancelled. No approval to such admissions violating the required qualifications will be granted and the process may be initiated to cancel the affiliation/recognition of such institutions which make violations in admission."
It is pertinent to mention that besides the 455 seats in the BDS course, about 202 MBBS seats are also vacant in other medical colleges.
Dr SS Gill, V-C BFUHS, Faridkot, was not available for his comments despite repeated calls.
"I can only comment after going through all the records about how many seats are still vacant but as of now, I am out of station," said Satpal Singh, deputy registrar of BFUHS.
"There are about 14 dental colleges with over 1,000 seats. But most students prefer the MBBS course over the BDS course as BDS has fewer posts in government hospitals compared to the requirement of MBBS doctors. The job opportunities in private sector are also limited so why would one pay such a huge fee for the BDS course," said a source in the medical profession.
The last counselling session will reportedly be held by the university on September 30 and no seats will be filled after it.