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AIIMS doctors call off strike

Staff Reporter

49 MBBS students issued degrees signed by Director, Dean

NEW DELHI: The strike by resident doctors of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here over the delay in issuance of degrees was called off on Thursday, after the Institute’s Staff Council decided to bypass the Union Health Minister and issue the degrees signed by the AIIMS Director and Dean.

Consequent to the decision, 49 MBBS students were issued the degrees signed by the Director and the Dean around 5 p.m.

The students required the degrees urgently to apply to universities abroad.

After the Delhi High Court directed the government to take immediate steps to resolve the issue, the AIIMS Staff Council passed a resolution stating that the signatures of the Dean and the Director on the degrees were enough. The meeting was chaired by AIIMS Director P. Venugopal.

“The AIIMS Act clearly states that the Dean presents the degree and the Director delivers it and thus there is no need for the president of the Institute to sign it. Already, six universities in India award degrees to their students without the signature of the president. We also sought legal opinion on the matter and it was eventually resolved by the council to award degrees bearing the signatures of the Dean and the Director only,” said Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) president Kumar Harsh.

Thanking the judiciary for its intervention, the doctor said that they would not accept degrees from the Minister at the proposed convocation. “We will boycott the convocation ceremony on September 25 and won’t accept degrees from his hands,” said Dr. Harsh.

The resident doctors went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday evening after some of them were detained near Nirman Bhavan while protesting against the delay in the issuance of degrees. On Wednesday, the Minister assured them that he would award degrees to them at a convocation ceremony on September 25, but the RDA decided to continue with the strike after the Minister failed to meet its demand to sign at least 50 certificates by evening.

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