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From: ARYA <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 29, 2006 10:00 PM
Subject:Quota row:meritorious students to return medals received for academic excellence
News for group:
Quota row: meritorious students to return medals received for academic excellence:
New Delhi/Bhopal/Kanpur, May 29 (ANI): Medical and engineering students, who have rejected appeals from Prime Minister, to withdraw their fortnight-long agitation against caste-based quota in higher education institutes, threatened self-immolation, if the Central Government failed to withdraw the controversial move.
Some meritorious students also announced to return medals received for academic excellence to the President.
The striking medical students in New Delhi were joined by their counterparts from across the country.
Anand Rai, general secretary of Madhya Pradesh junior doctors association, who was in the city to express solidarity with medical students sitting on hunger strike, said their medals did not hold any value after the government proposed quota.
"By returning the medals, we just want to show that these medals, which are in fact given as an encouragement for meritorious students, are of no use for us. By introducing quota, they are closing our roads for progress, so what is the purpose of our keeping them?" said Rai.
In Bhopal, protesting medicos staged mock public hanging and threatened to turn it real if government went ahead with the move.
"This is only a symbolic hanging, but if the government goes ahead with its decision to implement the proposed move, we'll commit suicide," said Ashutosh Dikshit, a protesting medical student.
Students at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) also went on a hunger strike to protest the government's decision to go ahead with the reservation plans.
Students said reservation, if at all is implemented, should be along economic lines.
"First of all, we are against any kind of reservation that is done on the basis of caste. If any reservation has to be done that should not be on the basis of caste or religion but on economic inequalities. This bill should be taken back," said Chandrashekhar Sharma, a protesting engineering student.
On Sunday, the Cebtral Government had assured the students that adequate facilities would be made available to the educational institutions before implementing the new move but the medicos said that the government was presenting them the same recommendations that they had rejected earlier.
The Central Government has stood firm by its stand to implement the proposed reservation from the next academic year.
Thousand of students across the country are protesting the government move to hike the number of seats for the socially backward classes in higher educational institutions.
The latest government move plans to increase the quota for lower castes by 27 percentage points, which would mean nearly half the places in state-funded medical, engineering and management colleges and Central universities would be set aside for other backward castes or OBCs.
But the general category students complain that they will have to compete more fiercely for the unfairly low portion of remaining seats if the quota move is implemented as expected by June 2007. (ANI)