| The deserted Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences campus in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
A sense of insecurity prevailed among Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) students almost 10 days after the college was closed sine die after a group of students and employees engaged in fisticuffs on May 8.
On the same day, the college had asked the first-, second- and third-year MBBS students to vacate the institution within 24 hours.
Since then the college administration has taken no initiative to resolve the issue. The only initiative it took was forming an inquiry committee into the case.
The MBBS students are in a dilemma. While some of them are staying in the houses of their acquaintances in Patna, some have gone back to their villages.
According to norms, medical college students need to have at least 75 per cent attendance to appear for their examination.
On why the college administration was not resolving the issue so that classes could be resumed, S.K. Shahi, the medical superintendent of the college, said: “We have formed an inquiry committee into the issue. It would submit its report on Wednesday to college director N.R. Biswas. At present, he is out of station. He would join on Monday. He would definitely take action after going through the report. We are hoping classes would resume soon.”
Whether closing the college for an indefinite period would have any effect on the attendance of students or not, Shahi said: “We are considering this as an advanced summer vacation because the college was scheduled for a month-long vacation from May 15. Students are not going to suffer because their sessions were regular and most of their courses have been completed. So the sine die is not going to affect the students any way.”
Students and even some teachers of IGIMS, however, were not happy with the administration’s decision of the sudden closure.
“The college administration had taken a wrong decision by opting a sine die. This way, the administration made us suffer. We had to leave the hostel within 24 hours because of no fault of ours. Many of us are staying in relatives’ houses, while some of our friends have gone back to their native places. Most of us are tensed because of the sine die. We don’t know when the classes would resume. It is hampering our studies. We have a vast syllabus to cover,” said an MBBS third-year student.
A senior teacher of the institution said the administration has not been sympathetic towards the students.
“Had they been sympathetic towards its students, they would not have gone for a sine die. The issue could have been resolved by the college administration had it approached the issue in a polite manner. Rather, the administration issued a diktat and asked the students to vacate the hostels within 24 hours. This kind of dispute is normal because the students are young,” he said.
On May 8, sources said some MBBS students went to ask for the attendance register because they wanted to check the attendance of a guard of the hostel who was often found absent from duty.
The official concerned did not provide them the attendance register. This led to a verbal duel followed by fisticuffs.