The Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) has come under fire from students attempting to gain admission to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme at Indira Gandhi Government Dental College (IGGDC), Jammu. This is because BOPEE has kept four State quota BDS seats in IGGDC vacant, despite the fact that affordable government BDS seats remain unfilled.
BOPEE is the regulatory body in charge of MBBS/BDS admission counselling. Following the announcement of the results of the National Eligibility Cumulative Entrance Examination 2022 on September 7, 2022, BOPEE held merit-based counselling for admission to various Government and private Dental Colleges last October. IGGDC Jammu has a total of 54 State Quota BDS seats and nine Central Quota seats. Four State Quota seats and one Central Quota seat were empty at IGGDC Jammu during the allotment procedure of BDS students to government and private dental colleges across the state.
No Candidate for Vacant Seats, According to BOPEE
According to BOPEE, there were no candidates for these vacated seats, even on the waiting list. However, students claim that BOPEE assigned students to private dental colleges with annual fees in the lakhs as opposed to the more affordable government dental college seats, but that the vacant seats at IGGDC were not filled. Under the condition of anonymity, a BDS student admitted to a private dental college in Jammu stated that the government dental seats at IGGDC remained vacant despite the college authorities informing BOPEE about the vacant seats.
Mop-up rounds have been completed, but seats remain vacant.
The Union Government performed two mop-up rounds to ensure that there are no unfilled seats at government dentistry colleges in Jammu and Kashmir. However, BOPEE did not fill the seats in IGGDC that became vacant due to the non-joining of some candidates by conducting a second mop-up round of counselling.
Dr. Rakesh Krishan Gupta, Principal of IGGDC Jammu, said the daily that BOPEE had directed colleges to notify them of unfilled seats by December 15, 2022. He said that the college administration had told him about the open seats before the deadline. When the Central Government extended the deadline for filling vacant seats until January 15, the college also contacted BOPEE to fill the seats. However, nothing was done about it.
According to BOPEE officials, the second mop-up round for replacing vacant BDS seats was not held because there were no candidates on the waiting list. According to the authorities, “the second mop-up round was only possible if the Centre lowered the percentile for admission, which did not happen.”
Students Dissatisfied with BOPEE
Students wishing to enroll in the BDS program at IGGDC are dissatisfied with BOPEE for failing to fill the available seats. They claim that BOPEE is denying students access to affordable government BDS seats while sending them to private dentistry schools with substantially higher annual costs. Students who cannot afford the hefty tuition charged by private universities are suffering as a result. The students have urged BOPEE to take action to replace the vacant BDS seats at IGGDC Jammu so that they can apply for government BDS seats that are more inexpensive.