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Vice-President Dhankhar at AIIMS convocation

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar Monday said some “irritating voices” did not believe in India’s abilities during the Covid pandemic.

“While Bharat was tackling the pandemic, I would not reflect more, but it was painful to find some irritating voices raising concern, not believing in our ability, that as a nation we need to escape — it does not help anyone,” said Dhankar while addressing the 48th convocation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.

“I come from the legal profession. I know what professionalism means. A slight dilution, slight commercialisation, slight ethical deviation, can be ruinous for those who seek to serve. Therefore, being at an institute like AIIMS, on the great occasion of the 48th convocation, I am delighted. It is a moment for me to cherish,” he added.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare S P Singh Baghel also attended the convocation ceremony which was held at the institute. This was the first physical convocation after the pandemic.

Observing that the convocation was taking place after an interval of three years, the Vice-President said the gap reminds him of the pandemic. Health workers brought the country out of the crisis with their hard work and sincere efforts, he added.

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“They vindicated our civilisational ethos. We battled Covid at home and helped several countries simultaneously. It is a remarkable achievement. It was painful to find some irritating voices raising concern, not believing in our ability,” Dhankhar said.

He said India today has become the pharmacy of the world: “We have that skill, human resource. But we have to work a little more to make medicines affordable to the common man. The government has done massive work in this direction.”

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The Vice-President also extended his greetings to six retired faculty members, who are being conferred the lifetime achievement award, and said their life and work will inspire graduating students.

According to Dr Rima Dada, AIIMS official spokesperson, a total of 2,494 students were awarded degrees at the convocation. This included 257 MBBS degrees; 358 DM degrees; 831 MD/MS/MHA/MDS degrees; 127 PhD degrees; MCh 184 degrees; Fellowship 93 degrees; MSc 227; and 417 BSc degrees.

Mandaviya congratulated the students and highlighted that medical colleges in the country had doubled to 1,07,000 now, from 48,000 in 2014. He said that to plug the gaps in healthcare, Rs 64,000 crore is being invested across the 750 districts of India to create a more resilient healthcare system in the country.

Click for more updates on Delhi News Today. Also get Latest News Updates from Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other parts of India at The Indian Express.

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