KATHMANDU, July 5: Dr Govinda KC, whose hunger strike had forced PM Baburam Bhattarai to initiate a process to appoint a merit-based candidate for the post of dean at Institute of Medicine (IoM), has announced a fresh fast-unto-death.
His decision to start a hunger strike from Thursday comes two days after all the members of a committee formed by Tribhuvan University (TU) to recommend three merit-based candidates for the dean of IoM decided to resign en masse.
Talking to Republica on Wednesday, Dr KC -- arguably the most admired professors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) -- said, "The committee members announced their resignations at the last moment, which means they had not yet decided on the candidates for recommendation. This is why I have decided to go on a fast-unto-death once again."
Dr KC, who has stood against the practice of sharing key posts among major political parties at IoM, said he would sit for a fast-unto-death with a new resolve. "I have been fooled many times," Dr KC said. "I will not budge from my stance this time."
Earlier, Prime Minister Bhattarai had persuaded Dr KC, who has garnered a massive support of a majority of professors, doctors and students at the IoM and TUTH, to call off his fast-unto-death program by instructing TU Vice Chancellor Dr Hira Bahadur Maharjan to set up a three-member committee to find out three candidates through a fair and transparent process.
Following PM Bhattarai´s instruction, VC Maharjan constituted a committee led by Prof Aravinda Lal Bhumi to recommend three names based on seniority, competence and vision rather than political affiliation. However, the committee failed in its task even though its originally three-week term was extended.
"We could not accomplish the task due to our differences with VC Maharajn with regard to collecting resumes and vision papers," Bhumi said. VC Maharjan, on the other hand, claimed that he has no differences with the recommendation team.
Besides advocating a fair and transparent process to select merit-based candidates, Dr KC has also been demanding that the government take action against Dr Arun Sayami, acting dean of IoM, who, along with other officials, was charged with leaking question papers at the TUTH entrance exams two years ago.