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AIIMS doctors protest OBC quota bill, strike work

Hunger stroke on, patients won't be turned away.

December 17, 2006

The passing of a Bill which reserves 27 per cent seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central Government-aided educational institutions has prompted the doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to begin an indefinite hunger strike.

A day after the OBC quota Bill for centrally- aided educational institutions was approved by the Lok Sabha, the doctors announced their hunger strike. The government had on Thursday said that it will very soon come up with a Bill providing for reservation in unaided educational institutions.

Though the hunger stir call was given, the doctors have clarified that they would not turn away patients.

On Thursday, the OBC quota bill for The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006 that provides for 27 per cent reservation to OBCs, was passed by a voice vote after amendments moved by the BJP for including minority institutions in its purview was rejected. The government had already announced that the quota regime would be made operational from the academic year 2007.

Significantly, the Bill did not keep away the creamy layer in spite of the parliamentary standing committee for HRD voicing that the particular segment should be covered only after giving priority to non-creamy among the backward communities.

The concept of the Bill had seen many an opposition even within the ruling United Progressive Alliance. Many of the Dravidian parties had voiced their protest against exclusion of the creamy layer. The Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha by Human resources Development Minister Arjun Singh on August 25 this year, calls for a mandatory increase of seats in Central educational institutions, which would be attained over a maximum period of three years beginning with 2007 academic session.

The Bill, which would be applicable to Central Universities, IITs and IIMs says that the OBCs are a class of citizens who are socially and educationally backward. With the passing of the Bill, Arjun Singh went ahead one step further to promise all help the institutions concerned so as to implement the quota regime.

According to the Bill, as much as 27 per cent seat reservation would be set aside for OBCs for admission in Central educational institutions besides 15 per cent for SCs and 7.5 per cent for STs.




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