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Mon, Feb 24

Lone hunger striker spurs Nepal to action

A hunger strike by a senior academic in Nepal has forced the government to backtrack on its system of political patronage in academia and highlighted the  damage it has inflicted on medical services, education and research. Govinda KC, a physician and professor at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the leading Tribhuvan University (TU) in Kathmandu, began a protest fast on 8 February. His demands included the reinstatement of the medical institute’s former dean, or the appointment of a new one; disciplinary action against staff involved in granting unregulated licences to private medical colleges; and the establishment of public medical colleges in rural areas. Dozens of his colleagues staged a walkout in solidarity, causing out­patient services at TU Teaching Hospital to grind to a halt. Read more.