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Agitating medicos meet Pranab; no assurances

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 18: After the constitution of a four-member ministerial team to finalise steps for ensuring OBC quota in educational institutions, agitating doctors today met Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee for talks on the issue.

Coming out of the meeting, during which Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss and Minister Without Portfolio Oscar Fernandes were also present, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Resident Doctors Association spokesman Dr Harsh Kumar said it has been decided that they will meet again on the issue.

''We presented our viewpoint on the issue and Mr Mukherjee came out with some suggestions. It was decided that we would soon meet to talk over the matter.'' Denying that any assurance on quota was given to them, Dr Harsh said no assurance of any type except that another meeting would be held soon was given to them.

''Presenting our viewpoint we asked the Defence Minister, who is part of the four-member team constituted by the PM, to roll back the proposed extension of the 27 per cent reservation, to form a non-political judicial committee to review the existing reservation policy, its achievements, adverse effects, loopholes and drawbacks and a concrete statement by the Prime Minister on the issue.'' Students and doctors of the AIIMS are on an indefinite hunger strike at the hospital since May 14 under the banner of 'Youth for Equality'.

The four-member ministerial team, constituted by the PM, includes HRD Minister Arjun Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Law Minister H R Bharadwaj and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Besides weighing various options, including increasing the number of seats in premier institutions such as IIMs and IITs to protect the interests of all sections of society, the ministerial panel would also suggest whether to resort to the ordinance route to provide for reservation from the 2006-07 academic year.


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