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Friday, December 15, 2006

AIIMS RDA on hunger strike

As soon as the Lok Sabha passed the controversial OBC reservation bill, twelve members of the AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) went on flash hunger strike in protest.
However, services in the world renowned healthcare institution will not be affected and the doctors will continue to work. The angered doctors accused the government of ''betraying'' them and failing to secure the interest of the masses.

''The Government had assured us that the interest of the masses will not be compromised.... But neither recommendations of Moilly Committee have been included nor our demands considered,'' RDA member Dr Binod Patra said.

The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006, provides for 27 per cent quota for OBC students in elite educational institutions maintained and aided by the Central Government.

He said the Government did not even wait for courts to pronounce their verdict on the contentious issue. ''When the matter is subjudice what was the hurry to rush the bill. We are not against any section or society but only want merit to be given priority,'' he added.

The AIIMS RDA is holding talks with other organisations and colleges for support on the strike. It will hold its General Body Meeting (GBM) tomorrow to decide the future course of action.
The AIIMS RDA, under the banner of Youth for Equality, had started and spearheaded the anti-quota agitation since May.

The doctors have appealed the public to support the anti-quota agitation.
In the Lok Sabha, Union Human Resource and Development Minister Arjun Singh said a separate Bill was under preparation to provide reservation in unaided educational institutions also.

''The Bill is consistent with Constitutional provisions and will meet the goal of equity and social justice,'' he added.

The government would take further steps to provide reservation in private institutions of higher learning only after taking all political parties into confidence.

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