BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has decided not to open government dental college in the state at least for the next five years. Considering the number of seats for dental courses lying vacant for the past few years, the state department of medical education has decided not to set up any new government dental college, highly-placed sources from the department said.
However, there is no restriction on private parties opening new colleges. This year, there is no application even from private educational institutions to set up dental colleges.
Meanwhile, the department has decided to increase intake in the existing colleges, if at all demand increases this year.“We have submitted a proposal to the authorities at Dental Council of India,
seeking increase in the number of seats at colleges which are in demand,” added the official.
Dr Girish, director, medical education department, said, “I don’t think the state needs new dental colleges.”
Data on admissions and unfilled seats shows that demand for dental courses has been declining, it went down after 2015-16. However, the number of vacant seats for 2018-19 (337) is not as low as it was in 2016-17 (111) and 2017-18 (1,443).
WHY NO TAKERS
Experts say that demand is going down because of the hike in fee and introduction of the national-level entrance examination. Increasing demand for Ayurveda courses is also one of the reasons for falling demand for dental courses. Dr Sachidanand, Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, said, “Looking at the admission trend, the demand for Ayurveda courses has increased and this is one reason why demand for dental courses is going down.”
However, another reason being pointed by experts is the lack of job opportunities and high cost for setting up the clinic.Dr Venkatesh, former director, medical education, said, “Compared to medical courses, setting up one’s own clinic is expensive. The equipment for dental treatment is also expensive. And job opportunities are fewer, compared to MBBS.”