Chandigarh dental students strike for stipend hike
Chandigarh dental students stage strike demanding monthly stipend increase
Students enrolled in bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) and master of dental surgery (MDS) courses at Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University, staged a protest at the university's Gate Number 1 in Chandigarh. They demanded an increase in their stipend, which has remained the same since 2009.
Low stipend and ongoing strike
The protesting students revealed that they have been receiving a monthly stipend ranging from ₹9,000 to ₹10,000, a figure that has remained unchanged for over a decade. They argued that this stipend was significantly lower than what medical interns pursuing an MBBS degree at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, receive, which is ₹26,500 per month.
However, the university faculty explained that the dental program is self-financed and cannot be equated with the UT-funded MBBS program at GMCH. Despite the strike, they asserted that all patients received care at the hospital, and surgeries were conducted. They also scheduled appointments for the following day.
Promised increase in stipend
Dr. Hemant Batra, the Chairperson, shared that the PU Senate and Board of Finance had recently approved a proportionate increase in stipends to align with annual course fee hikes. This increase will come into effect next month, addressing the students' demands for a raise in their stipend. Additionally, he assured that hospital services would remain unaffected during the strike.