Two months before NEET, only 75 candidates apply for 549 vacant BDS seats in private colleges in Punjab


As NEET (UG) 2022 is only two months away, only 75 eligible candidates applied for 549 vacant seats in private dental colleges across the state during the fifth round of Baba Health Sciences University counseling. Farid (BFUHS) in Faridkot.

After four rounds of counseling for undergraduate dental course admissions, 43% of BDS seats remained vacant in 10 private dental colleges in Punjab. Following this, the BFUHS launched the second round of raking for admissions to vacant BDS seats. However, according to the tentative merit list posted by the medical college, there were only 75 eligible students who applied for the admissions.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will hold the NEET UG 2022 on July 17. According to experts, most medical students prefer MBBS and they only go to BDS after failing to get a better rank in NEET. It is therefore likely that many would prefer to reappear in the hope of securing an MBBS or BDS seat in a government college, as NEET is only two months away. There are two government colleges in the state offering 90 BDS seats in the state, which were filled in the second round of council.

Out of 1,240 BDS seats in 14 private colleges in Punjab, 549 remained vacant after the fourth round. According to data provided by BFUHS, only four private colleges – Christian Dental College, Ludhiana (40); SGRD Institute, Amritsar (60); Baba Jaswant Singh College, Ludhiana (100); and SKSS Dental College, Ludhiana (40) – managed to fill all of their BDS seats.

Meanwhile, eight colleges could not even fill 50% of the seats after four rounds, with Gian Sagar Dental College, Patiala – which was cleared for 100 BDS seats after a four-year gap – filling just 16, the lowest among all colleges.

Vacancies in BDS courses have been a concern for years. In 2014, 104 of the then 1,190 seats remained vacant, and the number rose to 540 the following year and remained high. Even after lowering the qualifying limit percentile by 10 points for each category, the number of vacant BDS seats was 355 in the 2019-20 session and increased to 503 in 2021-22.

Besides Punjab, many other states have also failed to fill a large chunk of their BDS seats in private medical colleges this year after concluding the council process. Following this, the Union Department of Health and Family Welfare directed the Medical Advisory Committee (MCC) to hold a second round of sweeps and vacancy for the 2021-22 academic session and has also extended the last admission date for the BDS course for dental colleges to May 15.


    Parteek Singh Mahal is a multimedia correspondent based in Faridkot, Punjab. It covers medical education, politics and policing of Punjab.
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