'Ghost' faculty rule the roost at dental faculty

Rs 1.32-crore biometric system project turned off

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) recent raids and arrests of the Dental Council of India (DCI) members are just the tip of the iceberg, going by what people in the know say and what certain documents reveal.

Pursuing the matter, Deccan Herald managed to access several documents that show the DCI in poor light and people fighting the cause allege that it is a hub of corruption.

One of the main allegations is that the DCI, the statutory body governing dental colleges in the country, has granted unwarranted permission for new colleges and courses while a major problem of unregulated faculty appointment and ghost faculty is rendering courses ineffective, with students barely seeing their teachers. Some of the teachers work part-time, which is illegal.

A few years ago, some members of the fraternity managed to convince the council to instal biometric systems to check the attendance of the faculty and keep a tab on ghost faculty drawing salaries from colleges they never visited.

Going by the documents, the council, however, “has failed to implement ‘its’ policy decision of monitoring faculty attendance through a system of biometric system, thus rendering unfruitful the expenditure incurred on the procurement of biometric machines for this purpose at a cost of Rs 1.32-crore.”

In addition, the council has approved 1,187 new postgraduate seats for 2012–13 even as it knew that there are no full-time faculty or infrastructure to support it.

In a writ petition filed by Dr Shaji K Joseph before the Kerala High Court, it is submitted that Dibyendu Mazumder, president, DCI, Mahesh Verma, vice-president, DCI, executive committee (EC) members Satheesh Kumar Reddy, Y Bharath Shetty, S M Jayakar and Riyaz Farooq and DCI member Pradeep Chandra Shetty have committed criminal misconduct.

“The criminal misconduct committed by respondents 4 to 10 (the aforementioned) in accepting gratification from private dental institutions in India for recommending 1,187 new postgraduate seats (Master of Dental Surgery) for 2012 – 2013 sans full-time faculty and infrastructural facilities.” The said members have been alleged as having amassed more than Rs 50 crore as gratification in granting permission for the same.

The petitioner has argued that they did this by abusing office and flouting Sections 9(1) and 10A (7) of the Dentists Act, 1948 and misguiding the Centre for getting its approval.

The Kerala High Court has alreay issued notices to the persons concerned.
Usha Mohan Das, vice-chairperson of the women’s dental council of the Indian Dental Council (IDA) said: “I know tens of people whose postal address (both residential and clinics) do not match with the cities/towns the colleges they are faculty members at operate from. I have submitted certain evidence to the CBI.

“...There are many in Bangalore alone, who visit the respective colleges only during inspections, about which, sadly, the colleges are tipped off in advance,” she added.

She said that she had lodged a complaint with the CBI as the DCI’s executive committee members were hand in glove with touts and college managements. Out of the eight EC members, two—S M Jaykar and Bharath Shetty, whose places were also raided–—are from Karnataka, while Sateesh Kumar Reddy is from Andhra Pradesh. With a majority of all the dental colleges in India located in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, these EC members have a lot of conflicts,” she said.

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