IIT: Medical Education or Medical Facility

Director of IIT, Kharagpur had a plan to start a medical college under the governance of IIT. Health ministry and MCI didn’t allow that to happen. Unfortunately, any change in the way government works in India is difficult. Who will make the two ministries agree to a good proposal with ineffective Prime Minister as head?

I am still of view that IIT, Kharagpur must have a super-specilty hospital that should be the biggest and best in the state outside Kolkata. Besides catering to the needs of the residents in the campus it must cater to general population of the hinterland districts. It can certainly come under PPP model with help of the rich alumni of the institute all around the world. I am sure many big industrial houses such as Tatas can also IIT, Kharagpur in the project. Tata Steel MD, B. Muthuraman, himself an IIT alumnus himself can be of help.

And nothing stops IIT to have some world class courses in medical engineering. The proposed hospital can become the laboratory for many such courses.

Rohit Kumar died in 2009 because of the poor facility and negligent doctors. His death had sparked protests by students, forcing Damodar Acharya to resign as institute director on “moral grounds”. I had visited the facility once when Rakesh fell ill once.

Midnapur had remained backward with hardly any significant material development. The location of IIT in that barren land of Santhals could not attract major industrial houses or knowledge entrepreneurs to set up industries and make it industrialized enough. Could not the very first IIT be Stanford to see a silicon valley or electronic district come up around it?

Unfortunately, over the years the students as well as the teaching communities have picked all the traits of the left unions and perhaps can’t think of making some remarkable contribution in developing the region that would have been their moral responsibility.

I wish IIT, Kharagpur goes ahead with a project of big hospital to serve the region. I do also hope that the coordinator of alumni relations at the institute initiates the idea with the groups he interacts.

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