Student unrest in the lone Government-run Abhin Chandra Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital (MCH) which has been brewing for quite sometime, has reached flashpoint. The hospital does not have enough faculty members to cater to the students’ educational needs. With repeated reminders to authorities falling on deaf ears, students have now decided to intensify the agitation and meet Health Minister Damodar Rout on Friday.
The students have also decided to file a petition with the NHRC. They alleged that their rights are infringed as they are not getting the service for which they have already paid fees.
With 12 departments, the MCH has just 11 regular teachers _ one reader and 10 lecturers_ against the sanctioned 43 posts. All the seven posts of professor had been lying vacant since long.
Students alleged that there had been no effort to recruit regular faculties through the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC). The last selection was made in 1977.
The vacant posts are being managed by 16 homoeopathic medical officers (HMOs), who are brought on deputation for training and teaching. They alleged that quality of education, imparted by the HMOs, had been substandard.
A number of agitations had taken place in the past over the issue, but to no avail. “In June last year, the then Health Secretary had promised to appoint homeopathy teachers to solve the problem in six months, but no action has been taken yet,” said a student, requesting anonymity.
The students also alleged faulty evaluation of test papers. Last month, after publication of results of back papers, taken by 11 students of Bachelor in Homeopathy Medicine and Surgery, four third-year students successfully cleared, but all the seven girls of first year failed.
Alleging that vindictive college authorities had targeted the seven students for raising voice against lack of faculty, a group of students had ransacked the college.
Principal Surya Narayan Mishra, however, rubbished the allegation. “None of the teachers has any role in the evaluation process as the examination papers were checked by faculty members of Utkal University. The matter has been taken up with the examination controller of the varsity,” Mishra said.
On faculty shortage, he said: “Legal cases in recruitment of the teaching staff have resulted in a standoff. The State Government has been working on new cadre rules. After the General Administration Department gives its nod, new recruitment will take place.”
Earlier this year, even the HMOs, who have been working as ad hoc faculty in the MCH, had demanded regularisation of their services.