More than a hundred final year postgraduate medical students from across the state are ill at ease and are looking for that elusive healing touch from authorities. These budding healthcare professionals from several government medical colleges are apprehensive, as their practical examinations have been postponed indefinitely because of unforeseen circumstances, putting their collective future in jeopardy.
The cause behind this vexation is the fact that many full-time professors and lecturers are agitating against the state government for denying them non-practicing allowances sanctioned by the Sixth pay commission, and, thus, are not conducting the exams. Interestingly, Dr Vijay Tapase, president of Honorary Doctors Association, wrote a letter to the vice-chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) last week, expressing desire of volunteering and organising the practical examinations. He has received no response so far.
“The final-year postgraduate students are the sufferers. We are volunteering to conduct the examinations for no charge; the state government anyway pays us a monthly stipend of Rs 1,500. We have been examiners and even today are professors and lecturers in our respective fields. Why can’t we be allowed to conduct the exams?” asked a senior honorary doctor attached to Grant Medical College.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Dr Tapase corroborated having written a letter to the V-C. “We honoraries were allowed to conduct exams until the medical science curriculum was under Mumbai University. But about a decade ago the baton was passed to MUHS and things changed. The students’ results will get delayed unless they appear for their practical examinations. Hence, we volunteered for the sake of their future.”
“I am keen to go overseas for higher studies. But I am now worried as my practical exams are not over yet and I do not even know when they will be conducted. We students are being made to suffer for no fault of ours,” said a final-year postgraduate student from Grant Medical College, who did not wish to be named. When contacted, Dr Arun Jamkar, vice-chancellor, MUHS, told MiD DAY, “Out of the 234 practical examinations conducted across medical colleges in the state, only 36 are yet to be discharged at Grant Medical College, Government Medical College in Nagpur, and a few other institutions. We have already postponed 16 examinations; only 15 to 20 per cent of the tests are left to be conducted and we are determined to organise them by the second week of June.”
“I do not know why the agitating examiners are holding the university to ransom. We could have easily shifted the examination centres for students of medical colleges where these protests are going on, but we do not want to cause any inconvenience. The tests will be conducted shortly and the results will be declared on time,” assured the V-C. When asked the reason for not accepting the services of honorary doctors, Jamkar said, “I do not know the cause and prefer not to speak more on the issue.”