AIIMS debars professor from guiding scholars after PhD student attempts suicide

New Delhi: Acting tough, the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has shifted all students doing PhD and research, under a professor of Microbiology, to other faculty members and also debarred the female professor from guiding students for the next three years.
The decision was taken after a student attempted suicide, accusing the professor of harassment and abuse. The 36-year-old PhD student had allegedly attempted suicide at his residence in Gautam Nagar by overdosing on drugs on March 25. He accused his supervisor of mental harassment, abuse and delay in his fellowship.
The incident had sparked protests by PhD students of the premier institute who demanded suspension and strict action against the accused professor following which a committee was constituted to inquire into the matter.
“All the students doing PhD thesis under her have been shifted to other faculty members. Also, she will not be guiding any student for the next three years,” said a senior doctor at AIIMS.
Notably, in his letter to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the fifth-year student alleged that he was being mentally harassed and humiliated by the supervisor under whom he got registered in August 2013.
“I have been under constant mental harassment and humiliation. She has time and again used filthy and abusive language in front of everyone. She scolds even when work is done correctly. My mental state is aggravated as she is not able to procure appropriate facilities, funds in the lab and makes no attempt to get the things done…my fellowship is delayed and this puts me in additional financial problem and mental burden,” the student alleged in the letter.
He also claimed that some students, who are also pursuing PhD under the same guide, having contracted TB while working in the lab due to lack of proper equipment and personal protective accessories given to them. AIIMS is also learnt to have issued instructions to all supervisors in the department to implement safety measures and infrastructure for the laboratory staff.

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