Mumbai: Students in the state of Maharashtra are planning to go on an indefinite strike on June 13 to demand a raise in stipends. Medical students in Maharashtra get a much lower stipend when compared to that given in other states to their counterparts. In 2015, the state had agreed to increase the stipend to Rs 11, 000 but the decision did not see the light of day. Though the intern’s original demand had been Rs 20,000, the government had come to a halt at Rs 11,000.
The interns are urging the state government to execute at the very least their promise of Rs. 11,000, while currently being paid a meager stipend of Rs 6000.
There are 400 medical interns working at four major civic-run hospitals (KEM, Nair, Cooper Hospital and Sion,) and 2,300 medical interns work across Maharashtra. On the same issue, the medical interns had threatened to go on a strike last month, however, decided to postpone after the representatives of the Association of State Medical Interns (Maharashtra) met Medical Education Minister, Girish Mahajan who assured that he will consider their demands and increase the stipend. However, with no further response, the interns have decided to call it strike again.
The government of Telangana provides a stipend of Rs 12 to 15,000. while the states of Karnataka and Bihar pays a stipend of Rs 20,000 and 15,000 respectively.
Dr. Darshan Kalal, President, ASMI, on July 15, 2015, revealed that though earlier, a rise in stipends was decided upon by the Director, Medical Education, and Research, no implementation of the same had been undertaken by the authorities concerned.
The medical interns are wanting to highlight the following points to the state authorities.
- The same government which can manage to hike the tuition fee every year in the name of inflation cannot do the same for stipend.
- As per our constitution and minimum wage policy, a skilled professional must get a salary of Rs 24,000 month including the inflation rate.
The students are clear if their demands are not met with a strike would ensue, reported Mumbai Live.