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Quota: A solution in sight
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May 19, 2006 14:57 IST

As a result of the government's efforts to solve the quota crisis, striking medicos on Friday demanded an assurance from the government that it will not implement the proposed Other Backward Classes quota till the number of seats in educational institutions are increased with proper infrastructure.

So far, the medicos have been demanding a total rollback of the proposed OBC quota in institutions.

Extending their support to the students and resident doctors, representatives of the AIIMS faculty association on Friday began a one-day fast without striking work.

"We are supporting the students and doctors and we want the government to listen to them," said Dr K K Handa, General Secretary of the Faculty Association.

The agitating medicos have decided to continue their strike. "The decision to continue to strike was taken at a general body meeting of the students and resident doctors. Negotiations are on but we will continue to strike," vice president of AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association, Subroto Mandal, said.

The striking medicos had met with a group of ministers on Thursday and were given the assurance that the government would increase the number of seats in educational institutions.

"It is impossible to increase the number of seats as it also needs infrastructure, doctors and teachers," Mandal said, adding, "We want an assurance that unless the number of seats are increased with proper infrastructure, there should not be an increase in the quota from the current level".

Medicos are now also demanding setting up of an apolitical judicial committee comprising experts in different fields such as doctors, engineers, lawyers and scientists to probe the implications of the quota proposal.

Mandal said some of the resident doctors were also continuing with their hunger strike.

However, he said no action had been taken by the government over the 24-hour notices issued to striking doctors.

"We had burnt these notices as an expression of our solidarity," he said.

Meanwhile, the government has said several of the striking doctors in hospitals have joined back for duty. Yesterday, 91 doctors from AIIMS had resumed duties, it claimed.

"Only few doctors have joined and most of them are with us," Mandal said.

Meanwhile, health services continue to be affected in the hospitals.

Only emergency and in-patient services are being run, while there are only skeletal OPD services, sources said.

So far no replacement doctors have appeared to join the institute, they added.

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