Kerala: The State working committee of IMA is determined to resolve the issue of the low stipend given to house surgeons and PG students in self-financed institutes. The association has decided to intervene in the matter, on behalf of the PG students and house surgeons in all private medical colleges in Kerala. It will do so by approaching the State government and the MCI over the issue.
Orders have been issued by the state for providing stipend in different slabs. Rs.43,000, Rs.44,000 and Rs.45,000 is provided as a fixed stipend for the month for the first, second and third year respectively. Some colleges, however, do not provide students even close to the designated slabs. It may be as low as Rs 5,000 for some PG students in the state.
According to information collected by Dr. Jinesh P.S., who was a former State executive member of the Kerala State Post Graduate Students Association, and postgraduate students in various colleges, one of the medical colleges in the State pays Rs.5,000 as stipend to all PG students in all three years. There are others which pay Rs.22,000 while the Pariyaram college is said to be paying Rs.32,000, Rs.33,000 and Rs.34,000 respectively for the three years of the PG course.
Only recently a meeting was held between the IMA and representatives of PG students and house surgeons to reach a consensus on the matter. It was decided during the course of the meeting that IMA will support the demands of the students and surgeons on the case.
A.V. Jayakrishnan, State president of the IMA, told The Hindu that house surgeons got an average of Rs. 7,000 as stipend.
There are concerning facts related to the matter, which IMA hopes to resolve with MCI and the state government. The primary factor is that there is no clear regulatory structure or process in place for monitoring this subject. In other words, how the government’s directive on stipends paid.
In consideration of this view, MCI does have a regulatory mechanism in place which monitors the stipend paid to PG students, by checking the bank details of the students. While this may force some institutes to be in compliance, there are however, some college authorities which flout the norms. They allegedly go against the system by taking back the money paid to the students.
Another case in point highlighted by Hindu newspaper implies that a PG student who signed an affidavit on a plain sheet to secure on the spot admission in a private medical college. He alleged that Commissioner of Entrance Examinations granted him admission only after he agreed to take home a monthly stipend of Rs 10,000 for the three-year course. This was because there was proposed tuition fees hike in the college, in turn, being implemented to meet the increasing monthly stipend along with other expenses.
Stipend paid to house surgeons is almost non-existent for the one-year MBBS course in private colleges. State has fixed the stipend amount at Rs 20,000, while the self-financing institutes pay only Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000.
Social media has been abuzz with these issues; however no action has been taken by the government yet. PG students have often resorted to agitation only to be threatened by the management.