IIT Kharagpur director V.K. Tewari said in his convocation address on Saturday that the institute has started a super speciality hospital named after Syama Prasad Mookerjee — founder of the Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP.
“The super speciality hospital in the name of Syama Prasad Mookerjee has also started its OPD. Fourteen doctors have been recruited there,” Tewari said in the presence of Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the chief guest at the convocation held physically.
The super speciality hospital has been carved out from the multispecialty medical research centre named after Dr BC Roy by the institute for his contribution to the field of medical science, alleged a section of teachers.
Director Tewari in the previous convocation held on February 23 decided to let Prime Minister Narendra Modi — the chief guest at 66th convocation — virtually inaugurate Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, but it was dropped following a public outcry over renaming an institute whose foundation stone was laid down by none other than President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Some of the IIT teachers told this newspaper “director V.K. Tewari on Saturday completed the job that was left unfinished”.
“Today, he informed everyone that the renamed facility has started its operations. So we have a super specialty hospital named after someone who has no connection with neither medicine nor IIT,” said a teacher who did not want to be named.
In his address, director Tewari said: “We are likely to start the MBBS college in the name of Dr BC Roy…. Hopefully, we will be able to start with 100 students this year. And the super specialty hospital in the name of Syama Prasad Mookerjee has also started….” he said.
Sources on the campus said the IIT authorities have split what was originally known as Dr BC Roy Multi Speciality Medical Research Centre, into two entities — a super specialty hospital after Syama Prasad Mookerjee and a medical college after Dr BC Roy.
The multispeciality centre at Balarampur outside the campus has been part of the IIT’s plans to start its own medical college.
The centre has come up on an 18-acre plot belonging to the institute.
On May 17, 2007, President APJ Abdul Kalam had laid the foundation stone for the project.
Repeated calls to director Tewari went unanswered. He also did not respond to text messages.
Director Tewari, who on the occasion of the institute’s foundation day ceremony had said on August 18 that some institutions who “are below IIT Kharagpur are also superseding” country’s oldest IIT, on Saturday said: “We have taken a pledge that this institute, in the next few years to come, will be the top 10 in the world. And for that mission we have identified seven important areas.”
An IIT teacher who has taught in universities in the US said an institute could shore up its ranking, when it managed to attract top notch students and IIT Kharagpur had failed to do so in recent years.
An IIT Kharagpur scholarship announced on the foundation day by the director that offers to cover the entire expenses of a student ranked in the top 100 in the entrance test if the family’s gross annual income was less than Rs 20 lakh does not have a taker in the first year.
The website of the seat allocation authority that conducts counselling for admission to IITs shows that none of the top 100 from the JEE-Advanced merit list has taken admission in Kharagpur.
Over 3,000 students were awarded degrees at the convocation. Telegraph India