The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014
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Sick of MBBS suspense, students ill

Ranchi, Aug. 22: Freshers in danger of losing their MBBS berths in RIMS (Ranchi), PMCH (Dhanbad) and MGM (Jamshedpur) after the Union health ministry agreed to MCI recommendations to slash 160 of 350 seats in three colleges, on a diet of dharnas and hollow promises, are falling ill.

Around 28 medical students sitting on dharna since August 20 near Governor House in Ranchi have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and weakness on Day Three of their pleas to the Centre to reinstate 350 seats at the three state-run colleges so that their careers are saved.

What initially started as a daylong dharna of students on Wednesday got transformed to a hunger-strike yesterday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the capital, but no administrative authority took notice.

Amid unconfirmed reports that students moved Jharkhand High Court with a writ petition today, a team of two doctors sent by Ranchi civil surgeon Dr Gopal Srivastava to the protest site conducted a health check-up of students.

Since a month now, after the MCI recommendations to the Centre to slash 60 seats from 150 at RIMS (Ranchi) and 50 each from the 100 at PMCH (Dhanbad) and MGM (Jamshedpur), the Centre’s endorsement and the state’s wishy-washy efforts to win them back, the students are at the receiving end of humiliation, neglect and uncertainty.

“Two protesters Anupriya and Aakash were admitted to Sadar Hospital last night with weak pulse and weakness, and discharged this morning. That’s why we went to for a check-up of others,” a doctor said. “Their high BP and weakness was due to fasting.”

Anupriya, who stood third in Jharkhand Combined Test this year, decided to pursue medical when she cleared the CBSE All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT). She took admission to PMCH (Dhanbad) through her first counselling, and in her second, was upgraded to MGM (Jamshedpur). MGM refused to take her as by then the Centre had agreed to the seat slash, she said.

Aakash, waiting for admission in MGM, said: “I don’t have a Plan B. I cannot even think of not studying medical.” Fellow protester Aman Kumar, who first got admitted to MGM was upgraded to RIMS and is now waiting, said: “We want officials to take us to Union health minister Harsh Vardhanji.”

State health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, who went to Delhi recently to speak to his Union counterpart but nothing came of it, persisted in optimism. “I have not lost hope,” he said.