Nepali student doctors in India hope to get stipends soonMedical students have been deprived of stipends for years.
Nepali students pursuing post-graduate medicine degrees in various medical colleges in India will now get the stipends that they had been deprived of for the last six years.
In a letter issued on Tuesday, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh stated that all foreign students would be given stipends on par with Indian students.
The decision will benefit more than 150 Nepali students studying at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry.
If the decision is implemented, Nepali students will receive approximately INR 100,000 monthly. Until now, the students have been forced to bear all their expenses on their own, though they have been working round the clock at times.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, however, have not announced their decisions on the matter yet. Last year, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research had decided to give stipends to foreign students and asked them to submit their bank account details.
The Jawaharlal Institute too had unofficially informed the students about the letter from the administration regarding the stipends. But the decision was not implemented.
Meanwhile, Nepali students say that they are not fully convinced that the decision would be implemented.
"The issue of stipends was raised at a minister-level bilateral meeting between India and Nepal that took place last month in Kathmandu. As India seemed positive about the issue in the meeting, we are hoping for the best," said Sagar Paudel, a medical student at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Paudel said that he was more hopeful this time as India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan had assured his Nepali counterpart, Upendra Yadav, that the decision would be implemented.
Yadav had met Harsha Vardhan at the regional conference of the World Health Organization held in New Delhi last week.
The demand for stipends by Nepali students in India is not new. They have been raising the issue for the past six years.
An agreement to provide stipends had been reached even at the prime ministerial level. The letter published by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh has mentioned about the decision to provide stipends in May last year. But the Nepali students have not been able to receive the stipends. It is an international practice to provide monthly stipends to the students in MD/MS, DM/MCH.