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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Medical study hub on cards

The Tatas are learnt to have expressed willingness to join hands with Manipal University to open a medical college in Jharkhand.

Ajay Kumar Singh, national vice-president of Indian Medical Association, said: “During a recent meeting, Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman expressed his desire to set up a medical college here, for which he sought help of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).”

Last year, the Arjun Munda government had initiated the process to establish a branch of the medical college of Manipal University. The proposal did not materialise.

“Last year, when then chief minister Arjun Munda had expressed his willingness in this regard, I had met Manipal University chairman Ramdas Pai, who had agreed to the project. But somehow the process was derailed after the change in government,” said Singh.

Manipal University chairman Ramdas Pai said they had tried to get the project moving earlier. Pai said: “With the Tatas in the picture, we are ready to open the medical college anytime. We had tried to initiate the process earlier, but it had to be deferred because of a recognition issue. There was no problem from the Tatas’ side.”

Though there has not been any communication from the Tatas, he said, they would start as soon as the notification arrives. “We would definitely like to have a presence in Jamshedpur,” he added.

To open a medical college, according to the norms of the Medical Council of India, the institute must be attached to a hospital with 360 beds and 80 per cent occupancy. The Tatas have Tata Main Hospital, with 800 beds and full occupancy, which fulfils the medical council’s criteria.

If the medical college is established, it would be the fourth one in the state. Despite medical colleges in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad, several students from Jharkhand are forced to go to Sikkim, Mangalore and Nepal for medical education. The combined intake capacity for MBBS courses in the three medical colleges here is 190.

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