The story of AIIMS

Published : May 09, 2008 00:00 IST

Professor Sukhadev Thorat. A file picture.-MOHAMMED YOUSUF

Professor Sukhadev Thorat. A file picture.-MOHAMMED YOUSUF

AT AIIMS, there were allegations of discrimination against S.C., S.T. and OBC students and the S.K. Thorat Committee, set up to investigate the allegations, found most of them to be true. About 84 per cent of S.C. and S.T. students mentioned the need for remedial coaching in the English language, but this was not made available.

About 69 per cent of S.C. and S.T. students reported that they did not receive adequate support from teachers and about one-third of them claimed that teachers avoided them because of their caste status. About 22 per cent of the S.C. and S.T. students said that they faced some form of discrimination in teaching sessions; some 76 per cent said that their papers were not examined properly and 88 per cent complained that the marks they got were lower than expected.

There were similar complaints regarding practical and viva examinations. Seventy-six per cent of the respondents said that the examiner had enquired about their caste background and 84 per cent felt that their grades were affected by their caste background.

As the anti-reservation agitation gained momentum, S.C. and S.T. students shifted to the top floors of the AIIMS hostel. They told the committee that they did so because they had faced humiliation, abuse and even violence by students of higher castes. Students further complained of social isolation, discrimination in the mess and at cultural events and said that even college ragging had distinct caste overtones.

The three-member committee headed by Thorat observed: AIIMS became the venue of this so-called national agitation because it could paralyse health care services to thousands and thereby attract public attention.

T.K. Rajalakshmi`
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