BDS curriculum to be revamped

BDS curriculum to be revamped


Course duration to increase by 6 months; semester and credit system to be introduced

Course duration to increase by 6 months; semester and credit system to be introduced

The Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course is all set for an overhaul for the first time in 74 years.

The decision by the Dental Council of India, which falls under the Health Ministry, is aimed at bringing the undergraduate course on a par with global standards, while making it more job-oriented and up to date.

At present the BDS is a five-year course, which includes four-year academics and one year of internship.

The proposed credit-based curriculum will be a five-and-a-half-year course, which includes four-and-a-half years of academics and one year of rotational internship. Exam pattern will shift from yearly to semester system where the student has the option to pick from the 50-60 elective subjects offered alongside. 

The elective subjects include Ayurveda/ Homeopathy/ Unani/ Siddha Medicine dentistry, yogic sciences and dental medicine, implantology, laser dentistry, sports dentistry, 3D planning in orthodontics, palliative care dentistry, among others. “Students should complete at least nine electives across all listed categories to graduate. Each elective shall carry two credits,” says the proposed draft.

“Maintaining standards of a BDS undergraduate on a par with or exceeding the changing global standards, improving the quality of dental care across the nation, educating dentists about dynamic ethical problems – are among the hallmarks of the proposed change. The upgraded syllabus will also ensure pay equality with medical graduates and encourage students from neighbouring countries to come study in India,’’ said Anil Kumar Chandna, executive member, the Dental Council of India.

According to the proposed draft, the choice-based credit system will encourage students to diversify their knowledge with electives and continuing education credits. “Dental colleges are expected to transition towards comprehensive oral health care training and also highlight the technology enhancement required to maintain global standards,’’ Dr. Chandna explained.

The proposed curriculum, which could be brought in as early as the next academic session, will have nine semesters plus one year paid compulsory rotatory internship (CRI) in dental colleges, with a minimum of 240 teaching days in each academic year.

Apart from the mandatory nine electives, “universities can create additional electives in each category based on the changing needs of society and the feedback of the various stakeholders / academic council. Task sharing / task shifting courses shall be designed to improve employability of graduates in transdisciplinary positions as healthcare workers,” states the draft.