Dean Agrawal still barred from office

Published On: December 17, 2016 01:00 AM NPT By: Bishnu Prasad Aryal

KATHMANDU, Dec 17: Dr JP Agrawal, who was appointed dean of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on December 4, remains barred from entering his office even on the 13th day Friday since his appointment 

Previous dean Dr KP Singh resigned on December 3. He had been appointed dean 20 days ago. On that day, Dr Govinda KC started his hunger strike, demanding the appointment of the dean on the basis of seniority. Dr KC, a senior orthopedic surgeon at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital ( TUTH ), ended his hunger strike on the 22th day on December 5. Dr KC began his 10th fast-unto-death to protest against anarchy in the medical education sector.

After Dr Agrawal, the senior-most doctor at IOM, was appointed dean, Dr Suresh Uprety and Dr Abhimanyu Jha padlocked the office of the dean. Dr Uprety and Dr Jha, who belong to the professors' association affiliated to the Nepali Congress party, have demanded the resignation of Dr Agrawal from his post.

Dr Agrawal said  he would not resign as he was appointed as per the regulations and under an agreement reached  with Dr KC. However, Dr Agrawal has been barred from attending his office.

“I assumed office when I was appointed,” said Dr Agrawal. “I have been working from outside the office room since the beginning of my appointment.”

Since assuming office, he has been going to the  departments concerned to sign  documents as required. “I stay in the office premises and carry out my work, and I also published the results of the entrance exams yesterday,” he said. “I am holding talks with the dissatisfied colleagues to sort out the problems.”

There are 239 resident doctors at TUTH, while the number of faculty doctors is 206, according to TUTH authorities. “Many of them have supported me while some have opposed my appointment as dean,” said Dr Agrawal. 

The office documents are piled up inside the padlocked office, hindering Dean Agrawal from doing his work. “I have had difficulties handle the administration in the absence of necessary documents,” said Dr Agrawal. “I will manage a new office room from Sunday or Monday.”

Despite Dr Agrawal facing difficulties, the supporters of Dr KC are happy with the appointment and irked by the group that did the padlocking.

“They are villains who have obstructed the demands and wishes of the majority,” said Dr Jivan Kshetry, coordinator of the Solidarity with Dr Govinda KC Alliance.

In the course of starting his 10th hunger strike, Dr KC had issued a 10-point demand. The demands included sacking TU Vice-chancellor Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya, appointing the IOM dean on the basis of seniority, implementation of previous agreements, not giving affiliation to any new medical colleges before the passage of the medical education bill by Parliament, forwarding the impeachment of CIAA  chief Lokman Singh Karki, starting investigations against CIAA Commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak, and implementation of the fee structure proposed by the Mathema Commission.

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