July 19, 2016
Ratna De Nag speaks on The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been brought in this august House to replace an Ordinance promulgated by the government on 24 May, 2016 to amend Dentists Act, 1948. Its primary purpose is to introduce a uniform entrance examination for all dental colleges for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Sir, with one stroke of power, the Supreme Court has taken away the right of the States to hold the undergraduate admission examination to MBBS and BDS courses. Candidates at State level would be affected and neglected by NEET. There was a logic and reason behind such a plea as the NEET would be in accordance with CBSE syllabus and the students from State boards would be at a disadvantage. Is it not a genuine concern of the State to take care of its own people?
As the House is aware, the Dentists Act provides for the constitution of the Dental Council of India to start colleges, courses or to increase number of seats, registration of dentists and standards of professional conduct of dentists in India.
The Dental Council of India has failed to perform its primary responsibilities. There is acute unemployment among dentists. New dental graduates are going jobless. In India, we have 309 dental colleges which gives us about 36000 dentists every year. Dental Council should have taken note of growing clash between demand and supply and accordingly adjusted the availability of dentists in the country.
New dental graduates have very low prospects of a job and starting his own practice costs him a lot. Apart from availability of space and infrastructure a major cause of the unemployment of dentists is the mushrooming of dental colleges. Dental Council should have regulated the dental colleges keeping in mind the demand and supply of dentists. It is failed to do so.
In the end, I would like the ministry to strongly streamline dental education in the country keeping in mind the demand and ensure that those passing out of dental colleges are provided with jobs. As a member of the medical profession I can understand the pain and anguish of the dental graduates who have passed their exam but are jobless. I would request the minister to consider the odd situation in which dental graduates are placed in the present junction.
At last, it is my request that MCI and DCI must be an autonomous body.