Year : 2019 | Volume
: 23 | Issue : 3 | Page : 188--189
Can we progress as a profession without the well being of the professionals?
Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontics and Implantology, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Digdoh Hills, Hingna Road, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Secretary, Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontics and Implantology, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Digdoh Hills, Hingna Road, Nagpur, Maharashtra
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Kolte A. Can we progress as a profession without the well being of the professionals?.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2019;23:188-189
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Kolte A. Can we progress as a profession without the well being of the professionals?. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Feb 28 ];23:188-189
Available from: http://www.jisponline.com/text.asp?2019/23/3/188/257343
Dental education system in India was given a boost with the introduction of the private sector institutes about 20 years back. Such a policy decision was felt necessary by the governmental agencies and the governing bodies of the profession to meet the requirements of dental health care needs of the society. However, the situation then and now has turned a full circle and the current time is the most appropriate to review the same which unfortunately nobody is concerned about.
Initially the institutes were granted to many educationists with the sole intention of serving the society which enabled them to acquire huge stretches of prime land on lease basis with minimal costs and many more incentives from the government. The icing on the cake was huge donations people were ready to pay for admissions to the UG and PG courses which had absolutely no quality control. Slowly it was realised that having such an educational institute was an extremely profitable venture and then began the rat race for more and more institutes coming in. The quality control which was introduced through the common entrance examination for graduation and post-graduation was also diluted to a great extent by reducing the eligibility percentiles thus compromising on the quality. The situation worsened over the years leading the current scenario where we have huge number of dental professionals without any job opportunities and extremely less population to cater to through individual practices as the awareness levels and priority for undertaking dental treatment is abysmally low. The staff requirements for educational institutes eased out due to plenty of them being available and that too to such an extent in the past few years that we have seen exploitation creeping in the service sector of private institutes. There are some institutes where the faculty members have unpaid salaries for months together and this too under the very vigilant eyes of the lawmakers.
Ideally speaking a profession grows and progresses only when all the stake holders are taken care of properly for their requirements and needs. This includes the faculty members, the students and the auxiliary staff. The governmental agencies and the governing bodies seem to be remotely concerned about the remunerations of the faculty members which at times for a fresh teacher with post graduate qualification is less than a class III or IV employee. The graduate staff members are left to their own mercy with no avenue for jobs and the already existent staff members also being removed arbitrarily by the higher ups. It has been observed over the years that many a staff member is discontinued from the services without any justified reasoning just to replace them with lesser salaried persons. And the replacements would not occur till the time of inspections or if it occurs most of it would be on paper. Thus, the students are left to study on their own or may be with a non-existent on paper staff member. The inspections by the governing body most often than ever has remained as a mere formality.
The faculty member working in an educational institute is thought to be a super human being and is required to teach the UG and PG students, treat the patients, participate in camp activities, perform research with almost minimal infrastructure or no upgradation of the existing infrastructure and on top of this carry out the NAAC work as this has been mandated by the governing council. For all such work he or she is grossly underpaid without any scrutiny by the governing councils which only depends on the affidavit signed by the staff member most of which are under duress. It is a point to ponder, if a grossly underpaid employee would be able to derive the much-required initiative which is so very necessary to instil confidence and to be seen as role model amongst the young generation.
These are some of the basic issues which need to be addressed on priority lest we all fail collectively as professionals and in general as a good profession. I certainly hope that the reasonable concerns will be taken note of and addressed to by the genuine lawmakers in the greater interest of the profession and the society.