Majid Kapra

PhD scholars hit streets to press for their demands

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35 dental surgeons detained while protesting for jobs in Jammu

Srinagar/Jammu, Feb 14: A group of PhD scholars held a peaceful protest here Monday to press for their demands including lack of comprehensive job policy and delay in advertising ‘Academic Arrangement notification’ for the current year.

The PhD scholars holding placards which read “wake up LG administration, save our future” assembled at Srinagar’s Press Enclave here this afternoon and staged a protest to press for demands.

They alleged that the government in sheer violation of Supreme Court ‘equal work, equal wages’ order pays a meager monthly salary to them which is too little to suffice their needs.

“The aim of holding this protest is to highlight our plight. We have been protesting for years but not a single demand has been fulfilled by the government as of now. We are working in different colleges and universities across Jammu and Kashmir but get a meager amount of a few thousand rupees as monthly salary,” Mudasir Ahmad, a protesting scholar, told the media.

He appealed to the LG Manoj Sinha to impress upon his administration to implement the apex court’s order of ‘equal work, equal wages’ in the Union Territory.

Protesters also alleged that the government has been delaying in advertising ‘Academic Arrangement’ for the year 2022 thus leaving hundreds of educated youth having crossed the upper age limit in lurch.

“We want a comprehensive job policy to be implemented in J&K, and a change in nomenclature. We also appeal to the LG administration to increase our monthly salary as few thousand rupees against hectic work schedule is discrimination with us,” they added.

The protesters threatened to intensify their protest in coming days in case the administration failed to fulfill their demands.

Meanwhile, at least 35 dental doctors were detained Monday after they staged a protest here in support of their demand for jobs by creating new posts of dental surgeons in hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

The protesters, both men and women, assembled under the banner of Dental Surgeons Association J&K at Dogra chowk and tried to block the vital Tawi bridge near the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh when police moved in and detained them, the police officials said.

General secretary of the association, Robin Tikoo said their employment woes have not been addressed since 2008 when the government last officially advertised posts for dental surgeons in the Health department.

He said thousands of dental doctors are unemployed across the Union Territory and more than 500 of them have already crossed the age limit without facing the J&K Public Service Commission examination even once.

“We reject the financial assistance scheme announced by the Lt Governor administration for the dental doctors to set up their own clinics. We do not need the financial assistance offered by the government but a proper job. For financial assistance, we can go to a bank,” he said.

He said the government has announced a loan of Rs 8 lakh with a condition that the clinic should have two dental surgeons and one technician.

“Many of us are still repaying the education loan and it is not possible for us to set up a private clinic with another bank loan,” the doctor said.

Tickoo claimed the association has given several representations to the authorities time and again but nothing has been done till date for their welfare.

He said the association appeals to the Lt Governor to take note of their plight and address their issues without any further delay.

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