MBBS Students' Oppose To Haryana Government's Bond Policy; State Health Minister Hopes For Early Resolution
Resident doctors at the PGIMS, Rohtak had gone on an indefinite strike in solidarity with the MBBS students' ongoing agitation.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Friday said he was hopeful of an early resolution of the issue after MBBS students opposed the state government's bond policy. When asked that doctors at the PGIMS hospital in Rohtak went on an indefinite strike on Thursday in solidarity with ongoing agitation by MBBS students against the bond policy, Mr Vij said he spoke with the chief minister on the issue. "I spoke with the chief minister and officials concerned and I am hopeful that the issue will be resolved in a day or two," Mr Vij told reporters.
He told the doctors who are on strike that holding protest was their democratic right, but they should also keep patients' interests in mind. Resident doctors at the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak had went on an indefinite strike from Thursday in solidarity with the MBBS students' ongoing agitation. "Barring emergency and trauma services, OPDs (outpatient departments), wards and elective surgeries will remain suspended from Thursday for an indefinite period till our demands are met," PGIMS Rohtak Resident Doctors Association president, Dr Ankit Gulia had said on Thursday.
MBBS students at PGIMS and some other medical colleges in Haryana have been holding protests for the past three weeks against the state government's bond policy. The Manohar Lal Khattar-led government had earlier said only those candidates who deposited the Rs 10 lakh bond according to its November 2020 policy would be considered for admission to MBBS courses in government medical colleges from the upcoming academic session. However, on November 2, Mr Khattar said no student would have to deposit the bond amount at the time of admission for MBBS courses in government colleges.
Despite the state government's assurance, some of the protesting students said the condition that they would not be required to pay the bond fee at the time of admission would not serve the desired purpose as they would have to repay the loan amount to the bank with interest. Meanwhile, on Friday, leader of opposition in the state assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda blamed the alleged insensitive attitude of the government for the ongoing agitation of MBBS students against the bond policy. The former chief minister said students of medical colleges of the state are agitating for a month but the government remains indifferent and callous.
Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also slammed the Khattar government over the issue. "Manohar Lal ji, If there is even an iota of decency and morality left, then instead of threatening the struggling medical students for their legitimate demands, fulfill their completely reasonable and legitimate demands immediately. "Also, apologize to the people of the state who are facing inconvenience," Mr Surjewala tweeted in Hindi. Mr Surjewala also posted an office order dated November 24 issued by PGIMS Rohtak authorities, which read that MBBS students who are on strike are directed to immediately call it off and only then their demands regarding amendments in the bond policy can be negotiated.
If the strike is not called off immediately, then actions will be taken which include vacation of hostels (by the hostellers) in 24 hours, the order stated. “In PGI Rohtak, students are on hunger strike and protest but the government has chosen to remain indifferent to their protests and it seems that the suffering of the students makes no difference to the government. Now resident doctors and other medical staff have also come in support of the students. Due to their strike, the patients are facing a lot of problems,” said Mr Hooda in a statement. The Congress leader said that instead of ending the deadlock, the government is continuously engaged in "trying to escalate this into a confrontation."
"Instead of accepting the legitimate demand of the students, the government is busy threatening them. Students are being threatened with expulsion from the hostel and an FIR against them,” he claimed. “Strict bond policy like Haryana is not applicable in any state of the country. No bond policy is applicable in 10 states of the country. The 17 states that have implemented the bond policy have also guaranteed government jobs to their students. In all the states the bond amount and tenure is less than Haryana. Not only this, in almost all states, the bond is between the government and the students. Whereas in Haryana, a provision has been made to take loan from the bank,” Mr Hooda said.
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