Talks between the Central government and striking medicos to end the agitation over the proposal to introduce reservation for Other Backward Castes in educational institutes failed to reach any conclusion on Monday.
Coverage: The Reservation Issue
Emerging from a six-hour meeting with Union Health Secretary P C Hota, 'Youth for Equality' representative Dr Apurva Mehra told media persons: "We are still struck on appointment of a committee of experts to review the existing reservation policy. The government is adamant. We are disappointed and will continue our agitation.
Medical students and Union Health Secretary P C Hota held two rounds of talks on Monday with the students now seeking a stay on introduction of the reservation until the experts' committee submitted its review report on the existing reservation policy.
The protesting students have already turned down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to call off their strike. Striking senior resident doctors remained defiant to notices to vacate the hostels, saying they would continue with their agitation till their demands were met. Junior doctors of medical colleges and hospitals also continued their strike that has paralysed health services in the capital.
Stating that government's stand was not acceptable to the striking medicos, Mehra said, "We will continue to stay hungry while the United Progressive Alliance government is celebrating the completion of two years. The government is jeopardizing the future of the nation."
Amitasha, a student from the Lady Harding Hospital, said while the doctors had scaled down their demand from a complete rollback of the quota to its implementation with increased number of seats, the government was not ready to move a step towards reaching a solution.
A statement from the Youth for Equality said: "The resignation of two members of the Knowledge Commission protesting against the reservation policies has only vindicated our stand."
Meanwhile, the Faculty Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a 'comprehensive review of all aspects of the reservation issue to develop a holistic opinion, which would be respected and will be acceptable for all quarters.'
'While we appreciate the importance of social justice in our national context, and particularly in primary and secondary education, we fail to understand the rationale of abysmally high percentage of caste-based reservation for graduate, postgraduate and post doctoral course in centres of excellence,' it said.