Rishikesh: A month after being condemned for restricting medicos for holding any social gathering, the Rishikesh branch of the premier healthcare institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), was drawn in yet another controversy; this time, on account of its students’ union elections.
Creating stir within the medical fraternity, the recently held elections were termed as a “mockery of democracy” by the Resident Doctors’ Association AIIMS Delhi Chapter.
The well-known association alleged that the AIIMS Rishikesh’s administration was trying to form a spineless Students’ Union.
The institute comprises a student body of 500 students, who were seen boycotting the elections. This was alleged because the Director of the institute was not allowing the eligible candidates of people’s choice to fight for elections and on 11th October, the elections were held forcefully by the administration under the direct supervision of Director, alleged the RDA.
The RDA further alleged, “First-year students were held captive in a seminar hall and were forced to vote for the candidates of Director’s choice.” So, out of 500, only 70 students voted.
Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, the RDA AIIMS Delhi, President, stated to Medical Dialogues, “Director had specifically appointed Associate Dean to stand there, see into everyone’s ballot paper and make sure that they will vote for the candidates of Director’s choice (See in picture below) Even after holding extreme form of dictatorship he was still so insecure that he kept the president’s post in his hand and announced that he will nominate the suitable president (See the note in results below) as none who applied were suitable according to him.”
Indicating that election process was clearly a violation of students’ democratic rights, Dr Bhatti said that the students must be allowed to form their own SU without administrative interference.
However, the matter was shortly resolved by the administration noting the widespread outrage on the issue.
Speaking to Medical dialogues, Dr Bhatti added, “The Director has taken his decision back and allowed free and fair elections without interference. Now, he abolished the rule for the nomination of president & He even made eligible to contest all those students whom he was not allowing previously because of their strong influence among students.”