Contribution Of Dr. R. Ahmed to Dental Education in India

Dr. Ahmed’s contribution to dental education has been significant. In 1945, the Government of India set up a committee under the chairmanship of Sir Joseph Bhore with three well known dental educationists, viz., Dr. Marshall Day, Dr. V. M. Desai and Dr. R. Ahmed, to investigate into the divergent policy of dental education offered to degree and diploma students. The committee also advocated a 4 year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), besides recommending other courses such as dental hygiene and dental mechanics along with Bachelor of Dental Surgery. It also recommended establishment of more number of dental colleges in different parts of India. Today, we have over 300 dental colleges in the country. He realised quite early that the dental profession needed to share its knowledge and experience with others to improve skills. He felt it was necessary to provide a platform for this purpose. Towards this end, he established the Indian Dental Journal in 1925 the first of its kind and was its Editor until 1946. He also served on the editorial boards of many scientific journals and other publications in India and abroad. In 1928 he came out with the first Students’ Hand Book on Operative Dentistry to help students.

Dr. Ahmed then donated his First Dental College of India to the West Bengal government. As a mark of reverence and with a view to perpetuating his memory the name was changed to Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College and Hospital. Dr. Ahmed served as the Principal of the College from 1920 to 1950. Dr. Ahmed’s philosophy was: ‘‘Education is the responsibility of the State; but if no one is willing to carry the cross, I will, for as long as I can.’’ Dr Ahmed’s journey did not end with the founding of the dental college which was then taken over by the Bengal government. As a mark of tribute to his lasting contribution and perpetuating his memory, the then Chief Minister, Dr B.C. Roy, named it after him. The lead given by Dr Ahmed culminated in the establishment of two more dental colleges in the country, i.e., The Nair Hospital Dental College in Bombay in 1932 and the De’ Montmorency Dental College in Lahore in the undivided India in 1936.

Among the learned dental educationists, Dr. R. Ahmed took upon himself the task of enhancement in the standard of dental education in India. Likewise, Dr. Ahmed established the Bengal Dental Association in 1925. In fact, this became the precursor for the establishment of the Indian Dental Association which he did in 1946. He served two terms as its first President from 1946 to 1947.

Indian Dental Association salutes this great personnel for his initiation and contribution to Indian Dentistry on his 126th Birth Anniversary.

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