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Indian Government and Striking Medical Workers Fail to Reach Accord


A strike by Indian doctors and medical students in New Delhi continues as the government failed to reach an agreement with the protesters on a controversial affirmative action program.

Patients awaiting care in New Delhi were left stranded on Tuesday, as most hospitals and clinics are without medical workers. Only a skeleton staff attending emergencies is available.

The medical workers walked off their jobs Monday across the country to protest a government plan to increase quotas for poor, lower caste students in state-funded medical, engineering and other professional colleges. Organizers say protests will continue until the plan is withdrawn.

The plan would increase quotas for disadvantaged castes from 22-and-a-half percent to 49-and-a-half percent.

Critics of the plan say it will reduce the number of slots for students competing on merit and will affect the quality of education and professional services.

Gautam Gupta has more on the story.

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