Vice-Chancellor dismisses reports to the contrary

Denying any move to locate a medical college planned by the Central University of Kerala elsewhere in the State, Vice-Chancellor Jancy James said here on Thursday that the institution, if sanctioned, would come up in Kasaragod, the university headquarters.

She said at a press conference that the media reports suggesting the move were baseless and contrary to facts.

Dr. James announced that Union Human Resource Minister Pallam Raju would lay the foundation stone for a permanent campus of the university at Periye, near here, on Saturday.

She said the university had forwarded a Rs. 220-crore proposal to the Union Human Resource Ministry for setting up a School of medicine and public health, envisaging a research centre and a world-class medical facility for the State rather than being just another medical college.

“The university understands that the relatively backward region of Kasaragod needs to have a well-structured medical institution in view of the poor public awareness of health and related issues and the way people in the region by and large have to rely on hospitals in Mangalore to get medical services. The serious health hazards attributed to overexposure to endosulfan in the district mandate the need to set up a world-class medical institution in north Kerala,” she said.

She expressed the hope that the political leaders in the State would be able to impress upon the Centre the need to sanction Plan funds to set up the medical college.

Dr. James said the jurisdiction of the university extended to the entire State and a decision on setting up a campus on four hectares of land acquired recently in Pathanamthitta district would be taken at a later stage. The university was ready to set up campuses elsewhere in Kerala if land and basic infrastructure were provided free of cost by the State government.

She said the university, ever since it came up in June 2009, had been in its infancy since finding land for the permanent campus had been delayed and 70-80 per cent of the posts of top-level faculty and administrative staff were remaining vacant.

The university would be able to shift its activities to the new block at Periye, adjacent to the Kanhangad-Kasaragod stretch of National Highway no. 66, from the next academic year. A detailed master plan envisaged the institution as a major educational hub of the State.

Registrar K. M. Abdur Rasheed, who was present at the press conference, said efforts were under way to acquire 76 more hectares close to the 124 hectares of land formally handed over the university last March.

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