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 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 Organizers say protests will continue until the plan is withdrawn.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.