Debating India


Time running out for 1st yr medicos

Friday 26 May 2006, by VENKATARAMAN*Shilpa

New Delhi, May 26: With medical students intensifying their agitation against reservations, and showing no signs of returning to classrooms, their studies have surely taken a beating.

Time is running out for first-year MBBS students, as their final exams are just a month away. No classes have been held in any of the city medical colleges for more than three weeks now. And, with the protests growing stronger, it seems unlikely that they will have any more classes this session.

First year exams in all colleges will begin around the first week of July. But for the agitating students, exams and studies are not on their mind. "We’ve a bigger problem. The future of our country is at stake here," says Ranju Mehta, a first-year MBBS student of Lady Hardinge Medical College, where the exams are scheduled for July 3. She and her classmates have been camping at AIIMS for more than a week now, preparing anti-reservation posters, placards and badges.

The second, third and final year students are missing their clinical postings, an integral part of their course. Besides losing out on valuable practical experience, boycotting the clinical postings will bring down their marks. Though worried, they say they are doing the right thing.

"I am more worried about my future. What is the use of studying and getting good marks if we can’t get admission," says Ankur Goyal, a final-year student at AIIMS.

Arman Qamar, a third-year student of University College of Medical Sciences, says, "If we get less marks or even fail, we can compensate for it later. But, if we let the quota system in, our future is ruined. The hardwork that we’ve put in over the years will go waste."

Meanwhile, parents and faculty members are concerned about the students losing out on study time.

"Students will be left with very little time to study for the exams. We plan to conduct special classes during the study holidays to complete their syllabus, once they call off the strike," said a faculty member of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College.

See online : The Indian Express

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