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So, who?ll blink first?

THE GOVERNMENT moved quickly on Sunday to show agitating medical students that it meant business on the quota issue. But it was not enough to convince the protesters.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 20:02 IST

THE GOVERNMENT moved quickly on Sunday to show agitating medical students that it meant business on the quota issue. But it was not enough to convince the protesters.

A day after laying out its plan of increasing the number of seats in medical colleges, it chose Veerappa Moily, a seasoned Congress leader and an OBC, to head the Oversight Committee which will draw a time-bound road map to implement the quota regime.

It said the committee could also meet the students' demand for an expert panel to study the implications of the OBC quota. The choice of Moily, who belongs to the backward Devadiga community, shows that the government does not intend to dilute its commitment to the OBCs.

MoS without portfolio Oscar Fernandes announced Moily's appointment after a lengthy meeting with the PM. The committee will submit its report by August-end.

In the evening, Fernandes handed over a two-page document to the medicos on the expansion of seats and college infrastructure.

Not satisfied, the medicos said they would continue with their strike. They demanded an "officially stamped" document and an assurance that a judicial commission would be set up to look into reservations.

"We want an assurance that general-category seats will be increased across the board and not be restricted to a few colleges,' said Amitasha, a student of Lady Hardinge and a member of Youth for Equality. "We also want the same to happen in all educational institutes. Our fight is not for medical seats alone."

Sasmit Sarangi of AIIMS, too, wanted to know why the government's recommendations centered around medical institutes only.