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Saturday, December 1, 2007

MBBS, BDS Courses Now To Be Extended by One Year

· The MBBS course, in India, which was of 5 and half years duration, is now going to be extended by another year (6 and half years), as per the Rural Health Mission according to a proposal made by the Union Health Minister. 

· As per the new recommendation the additional year would involve an internship in the rural areas, which would be of four months each at a Primary Health Centre, Sub-District hospital and a District Hospital respectively.

· A stipend of Rs 8,000/- per month will be paid to the interns.

· Actions taken so far: - 

1. A high-level committee has been set up by the Union Health Minister, Ambumani Ramadoss, to take opinions from 12 states on the matter.
2. The committee was met with stiff opposition from representatives of teachers, resident doctors, students and IMA when they visited Mumbai on November 21.
3. Other States who are also joining in the protests are Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and parts of Maharashtra that includes Aurangabad, Nagpur, kolhapur, and Solapur

With these changes being made in the medical education, Dentistry cannot be left behind and therefore it comes as no surprise that the Dental Council of India (DCI) increased the duration of the BDS course from 4 years to 5 years with immediate effect. Earlier, the course was for 4 years followed by one year of internship. However, the new regulation has scrapped the internship altogether. In all there are about 20,000 BDS students across 260 dental colleges in India.

Thousands of dental students have been taken completely by surprise by this move. They are now apprehensive of many factors that include the fees, and whether they would get enough of practical training. Earlier, the dental interns too got a stipend equal to the medical interns. But with this new ruling, they will no longer be called interns and therefore it is doubtful if they will get any stipend in their final year. Nothing to this effect has been mentioned in the regulations. They say that the fees will now be distributed evenly throughout the five-year period.

The DCI has justified its action by saying that the syllabus has undergone a sea change. However, a former general secretary of the MARD (Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors), Dr. Akash Akinwar believes that the decision is questionable as most of the private dental colleges have no infrastructure for internships, so they may be lobbying to get it scrapped all together.

The DCI has also come out with another regulation according to which the lecturers will now have to work for four years instead of three years to get promoted to the post of a Reader. (This regulation is still under consideration).

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