The Indian Nurses Association (INA) have called for an indefinite strike from today after the admission of about 640 nursing students was rejected by college authorities, post their first-year exams. The future seems to be at stake for these students from private colleges across Maharashtra, after they gained admission under the management quota, without appearing for the Common Entrance Test (CET). Recently they were informed that their first-year results had been withheld.

“We had taken admission under the management quota for the academic year 2012-14, in the month of October 2012. At the time of admission, neither the management, nor the principal of our respective colleges informed us that we need to appear for the CET,” said Sujo Jose, member of the INA and a student at VSPM College of Nursing and Research in Nagpur.

“Typically, there are 20 seats for nursing students in any private college. During our admission, about 12 were occupied by students from the regular quota who had appeared for CET. We were informed that the remaining seats were for management quota,” added Jose.

However, the nursing students, pursuing their BSc, Post Basic BSc and MSc were shocked to learn the reason why their result was being withheld. Despite paying their fees, the admission body, Pravesh Niyantran Samiti, and the respective universities have now rejected their admission. The students can sense their future in jeopardy if they will not be allowed to continue with their courses.

“We were not even aware that it was mandatory for us to appear for the CET. After spending Rs 1.5 lakh, whether we can afford it or not, if we are barred from appearing for our second- year exams in April, we will lose the last one-and-a-half year,” said Jose.

The Association of Managements of Unaided Nursing Colleges filed a petition regarding the issue in High Court in December 2012. However, the petition was dismissed and on December 13, 2013, the HC advised the students and management to approach the State Government and other concerned authorities for their intervention.

The president of INA, Riju Poykail, said, “The strike will be observed from January 23 at Azad Maidan, where we will request the government to look into the matter and take a favourable decision. If there is no positive response from the government, we will go on a hunger strike from January 28.”