Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   10 December

Limitation of military deferment won’t hinder scientific activities of students – minister

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 8, ARMENPRESS. The limitation of the military deferment right will not hinder students who desire to pursue scientific activities, education and science minister Levon Mkrtchyan said during an ongoing meeting with members of the “For The Development of Science” Initiative.

Students who protest the bill say that the limitations won’t restore social justice.

“There are sectors, for example the healthcare sector, where rather big gaps also exist. Many get exempt from military service by the “help” of this very sector”, the students said, adding that the rights of students who want to engage in scientific research is violated under the bill.

During the meeting the students told the minister that the bill creates obstacles also for the universities, relating to the number of students. “Physics and math is mainly preferred by males in universities. After passing the bill, no one will simply remain in that faculty”, the students said, proposing to provide deferment to those who will truly continue scientific activities, rather just use science to avoid military service.

Hearing the complaints and proposals, the minister didn’t deny that there are problems in the higher education field. However he didn’t agree with the students’ viewpoint that after passing the bill problems with the decrease of the number of students will appear. “Each year we provide deferment to 5-6 hundred people, and this isn’t the number which we can rely on and say that males will be many or few in natural sciences directions. The distribution in this regard is even”, he said.

Speaking on the issue of social justice, the minister agreed that there are specialties which require uninterrupted education. “There are numerous examples, there are many people whose service didn’t hinder their scientific activities. The limitation of the deferment right will not disturb the students willing to be engaged in science”, he said.


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