There have been too few takers for bachelor degree courses in dental surgery and paramedical in the last few years. But, this year, due to the impact of the historic class XII science results, demand for all medical and paramedical courses reported a significant rise, barring the bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) course.
In a departure from the grim situation of vacant seats in the past, in a total of 7,800 seats in medical and paramedical courses bachelor of ayurveda, medicine and surgery, bachelor of homoeopathy, medicine and surgery, bachelor of physiotherapy, bachelor of nursing very few remained vacant this year.
In fact, BDS is the only branch, which failed to garner a good response from students this year. Of the total of 977 seats in this stream, 88 were vacant. Experts believe that there could be multiple factors for students’ lack of interest in studying dental surgery.
Pranay Shah of the admission committee said it could be because of two reasons. “First is employment opportunity after completing bachelor of dental surgery. Even if students get jobs or open clinics after BDS, monetary gain may not be good as they face steep competition from senior doctors and specialists,” he said.
Shah added that students might have to pursue higher education master of dental surgery to do good business. However, high fees and donation to do masters may not be affordable for all BDS students.
Girish Parmar, principal of the government dental college in Ahmedabad, said the diminishing interest could even be attributed to the popularity of other branches. “For example, in the reshuffling, many students from dental colleges have chosen to take admission in an ayurved course. Job opportunity in ayurved is significantly high as it is mandatory to have one ayurved doctor at all primary health centres. Also, opportunity for BDS to go to foreign countries for higher studies is also low as they have to sit for an examination again in major countries,” he said.
Parmar said mushrooming of dental colleges could also be another reason. In 1990, there was only one dental college with 59 seats and now there are around 14 dental colleges (government and private) in the state with a total of 977 seats.