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  • Author:zz
  • Source:zz
  • Release on:2017-02-21
Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Feb 20, 2017, 04.00 AM IST
The move aims to curb absenteeism and malpractices in colleges

A file photo of a NEET examination centre in Bengaluru

Skipping classes is going to be harder for postgraduate dental students across the country. The Dental Council of India (DCI) will now monitor attendance centrally through the biometric system at all dental colleges. Additionally, there will also be teams that would inspect the Aadhaar card and address proof given by students. 

The medical fraternity is clearly taking policing seriously now. Recently, medical colleges were asked to have live streaming on campus as well as CCTV cameras.

The call for such a move came after colleges witnessed increased absenteeism. Compared with undergraduate students, PG students were reportedly more careless with attendance and there were even cases of PG students working at clinics when they should have been in class.

Vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) Dr KS Ravindranath called it a “great move”. “The new attendance system will be monitored by the central apex body. This is by both the Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India and is applicable to all medical colleges. Earlier, these biometrics were locally monitored but now they will be connected to these central apex bodies. This is an excellent move,” he said.

The former principal of RV Dental College, Dr KS Nagesh, said the move was indeed a good one and genuine students had nothing to worry about. “It is the right move. Certain amount of policing is required as this profession is about life and death. This is not a matter of worry for genuine students and is indeed a good move to improve the working of the colleges,” he said.

The circular by the DCI not only talks about introducing the biometric attendance system for PG students, but has also asked the council’s inspectors to verify documents such as the Aadhaar card and address proof of PG students and forward the photocopies.

Several of the students Mirror spoke with seemed to appreciate the introduction of the biometric attendance system, but found the inspection of Aadhaar card and address proof, unnecessary. In fact, they found other areas that needed verification.

“There are patient quotas that colleges need to fill – say 1,000 patients. When this happens, colleges do anything to meet the target. Instead of verifying students’ credentials, the inspectors must verify if patients are genuine because they often bring patients from slum areas, especially during inspections,” said a dental student.

“The biometrics is a great move. The PG students are given a stipend and are supposed to work. But what happens is that they go out in the name of camps and don’t come back. If biometrics attendance is introduced, at least there won’t be proxy attendances,” she said.

However, some students felt that the DCI had to do a lot more to have control over administration rather than students alone. Even the RGUHS vice-chancellor seemed unconvinced with the move to verify with Aadhaar and address proof. Dr KS Ravindranath said: “Though it may not be of great help, they are probably doing this for transparency.”

“In every hospital, the patient load must be good. Colleges must establish themselves in such a way through camps, subsidised rates and amenities. Some colleges that do not have good in-patient and out-patient count turn to such practices [get fake patients] and it is definitely not good. Unless a variety of patients visit hospitals and young students are given practical training, we cannot expect them to learn thoroughly,” he said.