Kerala: Demanding an increase in their stipend, house surgeons at Dr Somervell Memorial Medical College and Hospital (Dr SMCSI MCH) have called a strike.
Also called Karakonam Medical College, the 102 house surgeons are reported to be off-duty since last Sunday. They belong to the 2010 batch at the college.
The students have alleged that a GO says that stipend be fixed at Rs 20,000, while in comparison, they are just getting Rs 3,975 a month. The GO was a retrospective order to come in effect from April 2015. The decision by the government was taken in view of the existing hap between self-financing colleges and government colleges noticed by the Kerala University of Health Sciences. However, no action is reported on the matter yet.
On the contrary principal of the Medical College Dr Suseela K Pillai implied having received no such information from the government.
Express quoted: “We have received a circular from the university. But university is not a competent authority to issue such circulars,” she said.
According to her, it would be difficult for a self-financing college like Dr SMCSI MCH to give the stipend given in government colleges. “But the Bishop has agreed for a hike and a meeting of governing body will be held on May 5 to discuss this issue,” she said.
In addition, students are also protesting over an allegation of extra charges they are required to pay as fine for absence, mess dues etc. They pay Rs 250 per day as rent, power and water charges. A principal office notice (dated August 31, 2015) confirms that total pending dues are Rs 18, 555. A later notice (January 13, 2016) confirms it at Rs 1,51,929 (including arrears).
Even when students alleged that they were not given a proper reason for the extra mess fee, the principal said that charges were levied after a third-party audit, as quoted by Express.
A legal hearing is pending on the matter from the Admission Supervisory / Fee Regulatory Committee for Professional Colleges. The first hearing got postponed, and next is scheduled on May 17. Director of the college has also planning to hold an internal discussion with the students on the matter.