AIIMS convocation held after two years

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) All India Institute of Medical Sciences today held its 35th convocation at which about 750 degrees were awarded to doctors and students, after a gap of two years following a High court order.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who is involved in a long-standing turf war with AIIMS Director P Venugopal, handed the certificates at the function, which was earlier scheduled to be held on September 25 but was postponed as the minister had ''prior commitments''.

In a rare occurrence, Dr Ramadoss and Dr Venugopal shared a common platform after a long time at the convocation which was marred by controversies.

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, chief guest at the function, handed the certificates to meritorious students.

After handing over the degrees, Dr Ramadoss asked the doctors and students to work towards better patient care in India.

''I ask you to stay put in India.... India needs you. You are required in the country,'' he added.

He said the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched in 2005 recognising the importance of health as the backbone for growth and development in all spheres.

''To provide effective patient care services, healthy manpower is a pre-requisite. There is ample scope for medical graduates for serving the underserved, poor and downtrodden through the NRHM.'' He exhorted the doctors to follow ethics and work for the betterment of patients.

AIIMS Resident doctors and students had gone on strike last month demanding issuance of degree certificates, required for taking a job abroad.

Dr Ramadoss had refused to sign the certificates, saying they bore the signature of a registrar whose appointment was "illegal".

The students then approached the Delhi High Court which directed the Minister to sign all the certificates.

The Resident Doctors Association hailed the convocation as a victory of the democratic forces.

''This was long over due... The mess that was created around the convocation need not have happened. This is a victory for democratic forces and us,'' said RDA president Dr Kumar Harsh who also received his degree today.

''The same person who was opposed to signing the degrees has today awarded them to us,'' he added.

AIIMS Dean Prof R C Deka and Registrar Dr Sandeep Agarwala and other members of the AIIMS Institute Body were also present at the function.

UNI

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