Indian authorities are working with the Bangladesh government to address problems faced by more than 400 Indian students at a university in Chittagong who have been staging protests since Monday as they have not been registered by the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC).
Officials swung into action after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took up a report on the issue by Hindustan Times on Thursday. In a set of tweets late on Friday, Swaraj said she had received a report from the Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, Harsh Shringla.
She tweeted the problem had arisen because the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Science and Technology, Chittagong, had “admitted more students than permissible”.
The Indian envoy is in touch with the university and BMDC to find a “satisfactory solution”, she said. Swaraj also asked the Indian students to remain in touch with the Indian mission in Dhaka.
Despite the assurances from Swaraj, the Indian students continued their protests on Saturday. They held a rally near the university and demanded speedy action by the university’s administration. The protests had begun on Monday.
I have received the report from Mr.Harsh Shringla Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh. /1 https://t.co/1d8uRFelQC— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 13, 2017
The University has admitted more students than permissible. He is in touch with the University and Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 13, 2017
to find a satisfactory solution. Indian students should remain in touch with our mission in Dhaka. /3— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 13, 2017
“We wanted to block a nearby highway but we were turned away by police. So we marched in a rally. No one from the high commission has come to meet us but we are hopeful that action will be taken as we have seen the external affairs minister’s tweets,” an Indian student, who did not want to be named, told Hindustan Times.
The Indian students drawn from across the country are part of three batches, comprising a total of about 1,000 students, who have not been registered by BMDC. Students from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh too are part of the affected batches.
Some Indian students said the situation is particularly difficult for candidates who have to sit for their final MBBS examination from January 23.
Officials of the university acknowledged that the problem had arisen because BMDC had decided to register only a fixed number of students from every institution after a larger number had already been admitted. They said the registration is done after the admission.