The student protest at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Punjab University (PU) entered day 6 today. The OPD services at the institute remain affected because of the same. The protest was started by the students on Wednesday, November 1 to demand a hike in stipend.
A police warning has been issued to the protesters to vacate gate number 1 of the university where they have been protesting. The Sector-11 police took this step to avoid blockage of traffic that has been caused due to the protest.
However, the protesters are not ready to budge and said that they will continue their protest until their stipend was increased and brought on par with that offered to MBBS interns at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.
The protesters were assured by additional solicitor general and PU senator Satya Pal Jain, along with former mayor and senator Davesh Moudgil of taking up their demands with the vice chancellor of the university on Sunday.
“Doctors should be allowed to work in colleges and hospitals and should not be compelled to sit on dharnas,” Jain said, adding that he was hopeful that the matter will be resolved soon.
Threats by faculty members
A third-year BDS student also alleged that faculty members have been issuing threats to them, claiming that they will not allow them to fulfill their assigned quota for patients or they won’t be allowed to sit for exams due to attendance shortage.
Unchanged stipend since 2009
The protesters are alleging that they receive a stipend between ₹9,000 and ₹10,000 per month, which is unchanged since 2009 and much lower than the other institutes of the region. The PU senate had also decided to increase their stipend in 2022 but nothing has been implemented so far.
Meanwhile, PU officials claim that because this is a self-financed course, they can’t increase the stipend to match that of institutes like GMCH, where MBBS interns are paid ₹26,500.