NDTV Correspondent, Sunday, May 14, 2006 (New Delhi):
Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh has asserted the quota proposal will remain, but he criticized police action against student protestors in Mumbai.
Singh said the proposal for quotas in higher education will stay and the Cabinet will decide on it.
"Now there is going to be no re-look at them. This proposal was passed by Parliament unanimously so no party is against it," Singh said.
He also criticized the Knowledge Commission, which is opposed to the quotas.
Private doctors back protest
As Singh�s statement came, doctors with private hospitals in Delhi said they would strike work on Monday in support of anti-reservation calls.
Protests intensified after police broke up a demonstration by medical students in Mumbai on Saturday.
The Indian Medical Association in Mumbai will hold a hunger strike on Monday to denounce police behaviour.
"The police officer who ordered the lathicharge should be arrested," said Sunita Kshirsagar, President of IMA.
Doctors in five central medical institutions in Delhi have started an indefinite hunger strike.
Students of AIIMS, Lady Hardinge and Maulana Azad Medical College launched their agitation at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
They were joined by seven medical colleges in Ahmedabad. In Bangalore doctors have planned a rally and IIT alumni are expected to join them.
The Central government has directed all state-run hospitals to maintain essential services.
"I would like to assure you that services in hospitals will not be affected. Senior doctors are contractually bound to show up for work. They must understand their responsibilities," said Union Health Secretary PK Hota.
"The Supreme Court has also said that hospital workers must not go on strike," he pointed out.
Authorities have also been directed to ensure all-important wings of the hospitals function smoothly. (With PTI inputs)