The Dental Council of India (DCI) has lowered the eligibility criteria for those applying for post graduate course in dentistry .From the minimum of 50 percentile, the criteria has been brought down to a new base of 42.5 percentile as seats for MDS are going abegging.
The matter was discussed at the DCI general body meeting as colleges had complained there were few candidates meeting the eligibility criterion. Last year, several seats in PG dental programmes across the country remained unfilled.
“The DCI has decided to lower the qualifying percentile of NEET MDS 2017 by 7.5 percentile in respect of candidates belonging to the general category , SCSTOBC and persons with locomotory disability of lower limbs for the academic session 2017-18 only ,“ said a note by the Council.
Accordingly , the qualifying percentile for NEET MDS 2017 now stand lowered at 42.5 percentile for general. For SCSTOBC it's 32.5 percentile, and for persons with locomotory disability of lower limbs it is 37.5.
India has 309 dental colleges, which churn out around 26,000 dentists every year. Interestingly , there are merely 3,500 seats at the PG level which institutes are finding difficult to fill.“Mushrooming of dental colleges in the recent years has led to unemployment among Indian dentists. Thousands of dentists are coming out every year with very low prospects of job,“ said Namrata Dagli, in her paper “Increasing unemployment among Indian dental graduates“. “Few students are going in for masters. Colleges are struggling to find enough NEET qualified candidates, so it was decided to lower the qualifying scores,“ said Dr Mansing Pawar, DCI member and dean of Government Dental College, Mumbai.
Rough estimates suggest that India has 3 lakh dentists and but there is an imbalance in their spread. In 2004, India had one dentist per 10,000 people in urban areas and one dentist per 2.5 lakh people in the rural areas. It was not long ago that the good times were rolling for dentists. It is now, however, estimated that there will be a surplus of more than 1lakh dentists in India by 2020.