Why are Doctors Protesting? | Doctors Protest Explained | NEET PG 2021

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 Hello, friends!

Thousands of Resident Doctors have come on the streets to protest.

For the last 2-3 weeks,

several protests were seen in Delhi.

A protest march was taken out near Delhi Safdarjung Hospital.

"We Want Justice!"

Another protest march was from

the Maulana Azad Medical College to the Supreme Court.

"1, 2, 3, 4,

Stop the atrocities." 

And several other marches were taken out to the residence of the Union Health Minister.

During these protests, we saw a face-off between the police and the protestors.

People on both sides claimed that

people on their side were injured,

and the police detained several doctors.

It has become quite common in protests nowadays.

The clash between the police and the protestors.

And the terrible behaviour of the police towards the protestors.

The Federation of Resident Doctors' Association began this protest.

But after the crackdown of the police,

doctors from AIIMS and the Federation of All India Medical Association 

have now joined this protest.

The Federation has asked that as a protest,

all Resident Doctors should withdraw from their jobs,

including Emergency Services.

It is something that's already happening since the November end.

Many Resident Doctors had started boycotting their work.

The biggest question to arise here is

why are the Resident Doctors protesting?

What is the real reason behind it?

And what are their demands?




"Angered after the clash with the Delhi Police,

the resident doctors have stopped working in the government hospitals of the Capital."

"The doctors are on the streets, trying to get their demands met."

"During the demonstration yesterday,

doctors were taken into custody by the Delhi Police

and doctors have alleged police brutality."

"Around 4,000 resident doctors,

have been detained at Delhi's Sarojini Nagar Police Station."

The entire issue stems from the delay in NEET PG Counselling.

Years ago,

when I was in school,

there was an exam called the All India Pre Medical Test.

AIPMT

This was the entrance exam for multiple undergraduate medical courses.

But in 2013,

the Government introduced NEET.

It aimed to become the only medical entrance exam at the national level.

With this, one can get admission into any of the medical/dental courses in the country.

Initially, some petitions were filed against the NEET exam to stop it from happening.

But by 2017, this NEET exam had

replaced the AIPMT and other medical entrance exams in India.

There were only a few other separate entrance exams,

like the AIIMS and JIPMER.

By 2019,

these exceptions were replaced as well.

And the then Union Health Minister,

Harsh Vardhan,

announced that from 2020,

for all the medical colleges in India, there will be a single entrance exam: NEET.

Now, similar to the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for engineering,

the entrance exam for medical is the NEET.

There's a NEET-UG and a NEET-PG.

After finishing 12th grade,

if a student wants to pursue undergraduate medical courses,

like MBBS,

he'll have to take the NEET-UG exam for NEET Undergraduate. 

And if completing his graduation, if a student,

wants to get admission into Postgraduate courses,

like MD (Doctor of Medicine),

he has to take NEET-PG.

For NEET Postgraduation.

The responsibility of conducting the NEET-UG,

used to be CBSE's initially,

but in 2019, this responsibility was taken away from CBSE,

and given to the NTA.

A government agency that

has been created specifically for this purpose.

For conducting different examinations and recruitments.

But the responsibility of conducting NEET-PG is with,

the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences.

It is an autonomous body,

under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

This was the exam-related background knowledge. 

But you would've noticed,

I've been saying that Resident Doctors are protesting.

Resident Doctors are specifically protesting in these protests.

Who are the Resident Doctors?

When one does graduate medical courses like MBBS,

a part of it is theoretical.

A part of it is the practical training.

It takes place on-ground.

Think of it as Medical Internship.

These doctors normally reside on campus,

that's where the name 'Resident Doctors' comes from.

In our country friends, the resident doctors are very burdened.

According to the June 2018 Health Ministry data,

there is only 1 State-run hospital for every 55,000 citizens.

And only 1 government allopathic doctor for 11,000 people.

There is such a scarcity of doctors in India,

in this case, these resident doctors fill the gaps.

In 1992, the Supreme Court had passed an order,

which made the working hours of the junior resident doctors easier.

It set the limit of 12 hours work per day,

and at least one weekly off-day, on a rotation basis.

But despite this order,

it isn't implemented properly.

And even today, the resident doctors have to overwork a lot.

Sometimes 15 hours or even 18 hours,

and sometimes they even have to work for 20 hours in a day.

For raising their concerns about the poor working conditions, to the government,

in 2019, they had launched the 'I am overworked' campaign.

Last year, when we were thanking the corona warriors of the country,

by hitting plates and clapping,

who were the corona warriors,

the frontline workers?

Most of them were these resident doctors.

Because the senior doctors,

don't actually work on the frontlines, most of the time.

We were praising these people.

We were showering them with flowers,

So let's understand their current issue.

The NEET-PG exam,

the normal process according to it,

each year, this exam is conducted in January,

and the admissions process begins in

March-April.

But last year, due to corona,

the exam was delayed to April.

As April approached,

since the situation wasn't any better,

the exam was delayed further,

and the exam was finally conducted in September.

But despite that,

the admission process hasn't begun yet.

The exam result was declared by September end,

and now it's the end of December,

In January, the date for conducting the next year's NEET will come soon,  

but the admission process for the candidates of last year hasn't begun yet.

Why? Because this matter has been stuck in the courts.

Usually, the seats for admission,

50% of them fall under the All India Quota Counselling, 

and 50% under the State Quota Counselling.

Meaning that for 50% of the seats, people from all over India can apply,

to fill those seats.

And the remaining 50% is reserved for candidates from the State.

Only people of that State can apply for those seats.

In the All-India Quota,

there are various reservations.

Till 2020, there were 3 types of reserved seats.

SC, ST and PWD.

But in July 2021,

the Modi Government notified

that there will be 2 more reservations in the All India Quota.

27% reservation for OBCs,

and 10% for EWS.

Reservation for the Economically Weaker Section.

And while bringing these new reservations,

the government didn't add more seats as compensation.

The number of seats remained the same.

The new reservations are for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical/dental courses.

Two groups of doctors,

filed a PIL in the Supreme Court,

against the new reservations.

The hearings for the case started,

and during the hearings, it came up that

the reservation for the EWS,

the reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections,

the government has kept the upper limit for the eligibility

at an income of ₹800,000 per year.

Think about it.

A family that is earning ₹66,000 per month,

can it be classified as 'Economically Weak?'

Can they be included in the category of Economically Weak Category?

Less than 3% of citizens pay Income Tax in the country,

And according to the 2011-12 Rules,

the minimum tax slab was at

₹160,000.

Why am I comparing it to 2011-12?

Because the data of only 3% paying income tax,

is actually from 2011-12.

It meant that if your total taxable income was less than ₹160,000 in a year,

you didn't need to pay any income tax.

And 97% of the people were in this category.

So the 10% of EWS,

the Economically Weaker Category,

the people who are not in this 97% also fit the category. 

What kind of reservation is this where 97% of people fit the description?

The people who filed the petition in the Supreme Court,

claimed that it makes no sense.

The Supreme Court asked for answers from the government.

In the hearing in October 2021,

the Supreme Court asked the government,

to show the reasonings through which it arrived at ₹800,000 upper limit.

The data on the basis of which the arrived at the figure.

The bench pointed out that

the limit of OBCs is at ₹800,000 as well.

But OBCs are socially backward,

so having the same limit for the EWS wouldn't be right.

It doesn't make any sense.

Because a lower-caste, economically weaker man,

is at more disadvantage than an upper-caste economically weaker man. 

Because of their castes.

The court stated that the government is using the same limit to make unequals, equals.

"The government was making unequals as equals."

This issue isn't some murder case mystery,

that it'll take weeks and months to solve it,

but even so, the lawyer representing the government,

is taking a long time,

and the Supreme Court is taking its time to come to a judgement.

That last hearing on this matter was on 25th November,

in it, the government had agreed to 

revise the limit of ₹800,000

that they'll revisit it,

and that they need 4 weeks to do so.

This four more weeks,

has now become almost a year's delay for these 50,000 doctors.

Their 1 year is lost.

Because their tests were supposed to be in January,

and they were supposed to get admission by April.

But they couldn't get an admission till now.

The demand of the protesting resident doctors is simply that

there should be a Fast Track Hearing of the case,

so that they can get admission as soon as possible.

That their counselling is conducted.

But what do we get to see?

The police treating them in this way.

The police are standing there in their riot gear

as if these are terrorists and not doctors.

Thankfully, as with the farmers' protest, no one has started saying that

the 'real doctors' are in their clinics working

and that these are 'fake doctors' who are protesting.

Do you remember how these trolls used to spread these stories during the farmers' protest?

By the government's news channels.

That the real farmers were working in the fields,

and those protesting weren't farmers.

A dangerous phenomenon in the country

is trying to discredit the people protesting

and labelling them as anti-national.

During 2011-12, 

protests were seen as a fight for one's rights.

Protestors were respected.

The demands of the protestors then, were valid.

And the protests that we see today,

their demands are equally valid.

The only difference is that today, the media is completely biased,

and the government has so many puppets,

that label their neighbours as traitors just to maintain the image of the politicians.


And I hope you found the post informative as always.

Let's meet in the next post.

Thank you very much!

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