One of the capital city’s most known landmarks, the Government Ayurveda College, is gearing up to celebrate its 125 anniversary.
Established by the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore in 1889 as a ‘patashala’, this institution slowly was transformed and developed into the Ayurveda College, growing every year and commencing diploma and degree courses in Ayurveda in 1951, then under the affiliation of the University of Travancore. In 1971, postgraduate courses were offered, under affiliation to the University of Kerala and now, the institution has 15 full-fledged departments offering undergraduate and 12 postgraduate programmes, affiliated to the Kerala University of Health Sciences.
The college has about 1,500 students, 85 teaching staff and 20 scientific staff, apart from around 190 non-teaching staff. A recognised research centre for pursuing research leading to a Ph. D from the University of Kerala, the college also offers B.A.M.S, MD/MS and paramedical courses.
The main campus of the college is in the heart of the city, standing in a plot of about six acres and comprising the Academic Block, library, hospital, pharmacy, Drug Standardization Unit, Publication Division and office of the Principal and Administration. Adjoining the main campus, the second campus houses the ladies’ hostel, official quarters and Arogya Bhavan. The third campus at Poojapura spreads over eight acres and includes the Panchakarma Hospital complex, three postgraduate departments, Pharmacognosy unit, medicinal plants garden, snake park and men’s hostel. The fourth campus, also situated at Poojapura, has the Women and Children Hospital complex.
According to a hand-out from the college, the library can accommodate 300 learners, has over 25,000 books, 1,000 thesis, 60 journals, periodicals and audio-visual, e-learning and internet services. The hospital has 550 beds with 100 per cent occupancy throughout the year. The outpatient departments has an average of 950 patients a day.
The Snake Park has over 100 live specimens and 82 preserved ones while the herbal garden rears about 400 species of medicinal plants. The Drug Standardisation Unit houses a number of sophisticated and high-end research instruments that are used for advanced drug research.
The 125 anniversary celebrations will be a year-long programme beginning on October 17 and will include public health initiatives, workshops, national and international seminars, literary and scientific discourses, cultural meets, exhibitions and other programmes, according to P.K. Asok, Principal of the college. Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar will hoist the flag at 9 a.m. on October 17 while Mayor K. Chandrika will inaugurate a 125 sapling-planting programme. A procession will be taken out from the college at 5 p.m.