The State branch of the Indian Dental Association (IDA) has called for the revocation of no-objection certificate (NOC) granted by the State government to start three new dental colleges in the State.

At a press conference here on Thursday, the State unit secretary of the association, Shibu Rajagopal, said the IDA was of the opinion that no more NOCs should be granted for new colleges.

Dr. Rajagopal said the proliferation of dental colleges would not only ruin the employment prospects of those passing out, but also lead to the destruction of the dental education sector. The IDA had, in July this year, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister suggesting a moratorium on setting up new dental colleges.

He pointed out that the State already had 23 dental colleges in the self-financing sector offering 1,180 seats. The managements of those colleges were trying to get that strength doubled. As a result, a dental college in Kochi had already been permitted to increase its strength from 60 to 110.

Increasing the seats without any forethought would result in creating 2,500 new dentists in the State each year, Dr. Rajagopal said.

The existing dentist-population ratio in Kerala was 1: 3,866 which was much above the ratio of 1:7,500 insisted by the World Health Organisation. But if the strength and number of dental colleges were raised to bring out 2,500 new dentists annually, the ratio in the State would be around 1:1,000.

That situation would definitely push the sector into crisis and would also hit the dental education sector. Dr. Rajagopal warned that if the government failed to revoke the fresh NOCs granted for starting new dental colleges, the IDA would be compelled to launch strong agitations.