31 students, 35 teaching staff at Bellary dental college

BM, 30-10-2012 04:31:07

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Even while other dental colleges in the state were struggling to fill seats, govt opened a college in Bellary. It now spends Rs 8-10 crore annually to keep the college functioning



Students at the Government Dental College and Research Institute, Bellary can boast of personal tutors. It’s no vain boast either. The ratio of students to teachers is 1:1. There are only 31 dental students enrolled this year in the college and 35 teaching staff!

It’s a story of what political power can do. Hundreds of dentistry seats have no takers in colleges in the state, yet the government succumbed to pressure from the Reddy brothers and a former RGUHS vice-chancellor and opened a dental college in Bellary.
The Reddy brothers were power-wielding ministers in the B S Yeddyurappa cabinet when the college was opened and today, four years since its inception, the college has been able to fill only about 60 to 65 per cent of the total seats. In its fifth year of admissions, the college managed to enrol only 31 students against a total intake of 50.
The government went ahead with sanction for the college, fully aware that dental seats were lying unfilled in several colleges and that dental courses were the last priority for students. To top it all, the government spends about Rs 8 to Rs 10 crore annually to keep the college running.
“It was purely a prestige issue for the Reddys to have a dental college in their constituency,” a senior official in the medical education department told Bangalore Mirror. “A former RGUHS vice-chancellor also pushed the proposal, knowing full well that the dental seats have no takers and that a new college will only be just a waste of money. The situation is such that staff is more in number compared to the students.”
Currently, even in the Government Dental College, Bangalore, which is the most sought-after institution for dental studies in India, seven of the total 60 seats are seats vacant. The total seats include nine seats for the all-India quota. The college also has 28 seats for post graduate studies.
“A majority of students look at dentistry only if they don’t qualify for MBBS. It’s a last resort. They surrender the dental seat if they manage to get a medical seat in the last round of CET. Even in the reputed Government Dental College, Bangalore, the seat intake is not 100 per cent. When this is the case, another dental college at Bellary is totally unwarranted,’’ another official explained.
But for politicians, getting sanction for professional colleges in their constituencies is more a matter of prestige than feasibility.
In Karnataka, there are 42 dental colleges, of which two are government-run (Bangalore and Bellary). The rest are private institutions. Nearly 3,600 dental seats are available, but not more than 85 per cent of these seats are filled every year. The fee is Rs 14,000 per year at the Government Dental Colleges, while private colleges charge up to Rs 1.25 lakh for COMED-K students and Rs 50,000 for CET students.
Due to the poor intake-rate at Government Dental College, Bellary, authorities had also resorted to last-minute walk-in admissions to fill seats. But the Supreme Court has struck down the process, stating admission to any professional course should be only through competitive exams.

Comments on this Article
Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/Mumbai Tue, October-30-2012, 9:24
No demand for dentistry because Reddy and Yeddy are now toothless.......
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