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Dental schools

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Dental schools
India approves 150 colleges, dental schools included

LEIPZIG, Germany/DELHI, India: The Minister for Health and Family Wealthfare in India Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has recently made way for 150 educational institutions including a huge number of medical and dental colleges. He also directed the country’s Medical Council and Dental Council to take up pending recommendations of colleges as soon as possible so that semesters could begin by 1 August, the newspaper Times of India reports.

In India, every institute offering medical or dental education needs annual clearance from the Ministry of Health which is based on recommendation by the two councils.

Officials have justified the huge numbers by saying that many permissions had been pending for several years and has come in the wake of numerous public complaints of undue delay in processing cases. However, the move is also coming at a time when there is growing concern for future employment of dental graduates. According to a Times of India report, many dental graduates in India are currently forced to quit dentistry and work in other, more lucrative jobs.

It is also said that education regulators are often turning a blind eye to quality in their haste to recognise private professional institutions. Azad made clear that no middlemen would be tolerated in his ministry for clearing any file of medical institutes. He asked for boxes to be placed at his office and residence to receive complaints against any person seeking illegal gratification either in medical councils or in the ministry.

”What is needed in India is a national workforce strategy that is carefully devised and implemented, “ told Prof. Raman Bedi, former Chief Dental Officer in the UK and founder of the new Indian dental community Dentalghar, Dental Tribune Asia Pacific, “With higher demands for quality dentistry by local people, dental tourism, postgraduate training opportunities etc., many dentists will stay in India instead of going abroad.”

Dental education in India has grown in recent years and ranks first in the world in having the highest number of dental schools. The country currently has 280 dental institutions, which produce between 15,000 and 20,000 Bachelor of Dental Surgery graduates every year.

by Daniel Zimmermann, DTI

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