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AIIMS panel debunks charges of caste bias

by admin last modified 2007-09-19 19:30

The Pioneer

 

AIIMS panel debunks charges of caste bias

http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Pioneer/400x60/0


Durgesh Nandan Jha | New Delhi

Report submitted to High Court

The AIIMS committee formed to enquire into the allegations of caste discrimination leveled by the Thorat Committee, set up by Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, has found the allegations to be baseless. The report submitted to the High Court has rubbished the claims of the Thorat Committee that the anti-quota agitation at AIIMS was supported by the institute administration and that there was segregation of students in the hostels.


According to the findings of the AIIMS committee, the report of the Thorat Committee, constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), was biased and was based on representations from a select group of students under the banner of Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF). "The report of the Thorat committee is in total conflict with the records. The terms of reference were not followed and arbitrarily exceeded," said a member of the AIIMS committee on the condition of anonymity.

He said that the allegation of Thorat Committee that AIIMS became the venue for anti-quota agitation as a predetermined measure to attract public attention and put pressure on the Government by crippling healthcare services to the vast number of patients was baseless and unjustified.

"Firstly, Youth for Equality, which as recorded by the Thorat Committee as having spearheaded the agitation, does not exist at AIIMS. Secondly, a review of the institutional processes at that time has revealed conclusively that the AIIMS administration had taken all possible steps to contain the agitation. A total of 16 communications were sent to MoHFW but it did not respond to them," he added.

On the alleged segregation of reserved category students in the hostels at AIIMS, the report has found that there was no substantial allegation to prove that. "The AIIMS Committee has found that SC/ST students are evenly distributed in all hostels. A review of applications requesting for change of hostel rooms, from students over the past two years, has demonstrated that there was not a single instance wherein students had to change on account of any alleged SC/ST discrimination," reads the report.

The case studies of Ajitha Gill, Ajay Kumar Singh and Sukhbir Singh Badhal (Rana), as stated in Thorat Committee Report, were also found to be factually incorrect. The allegations about segregation of reserved category students in sports and cultural events and caste overtones have also been held untrue.

A financial suite has also been filed in the Delhi High Court against the Health Minister, his secretary and three members of the Thorat committee demanding around Rs 5 lakh as compensation to defamatory remarks made by the Thorat committee. The AIIMS director formed AIIMS Committee on May 24 to review the findings, observation and recommendations of the Thorat Committee report and to find ways for implementation of the recommendations.

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