Bihar: SKMCH students on COVID-duty demand better stipends

Coronavirus: Bihar students say they will go on strike if the stipend for MBBS students of Aryabhatta Knowledge University isn’t raised.

Bihar: SKMCH students on COVID-duty demand better stipends SKMCH students on COVID-duty demand better stipends
Pritha Roy Choudhury | May 24, 2021 - 12:26 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Students of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), Muzaffarpur, Bihar staged a symbolic protest on Saturday to demand a hike in their stipend.

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“We are getting Rs 15,000 whereas interns in Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) are being paid Rs 26,300. We demand equal pay,” said Navneet Kashyap, an intern with SKMCH. This college, and eight others, are affiliated to the Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Bihar.

All their undergraduate students are yet to complete their final year MBBS examinations but have been deployed on COVID-duty. After a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, on May 3, final-year undergraduate students have been put on COVID-19 duty.

Aryabhatta Knowledge University is a state-owned university while IGIMS and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna are central government institutions. Interns at AIIMS Patna are paid Rs 23,500. Interns on COVID-duty in IGIMS are being paid an added Rs 1,000 for each COVID shift, said the state university students.

Bihar: Stipend revision

According to the Bihar government, the stipend to be paid to the interns is to be renewed every three years. Students say that has not been adhered to.

“The stipend amount has to be renewed every three years. But the last renewal of the stipend took place in 2013. What we want is that, as per their policy, we demand a hike in the stipend, added Kashyap.

The students are also demanding health insurance for social security.

The students say if the government fails to meet their demands in one week’s time, they will resort to indefinite protest till their demands are met.

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