With the Governor giving in-principle approval for allocating four acres within the Raj Bhavan campus to Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, initial discussions have begun to set up a 500-bed hospital there.

The hospital, which will be attached to the university, will be the realisation of a long-held dream. However, it is still in the initial stages.

“Governor Surjit Singh Barnala has, in principle, agreed to allot a place on the vast Raj Bhavan campus. We have started discussions on the exact planning to build the hospital. Only 300 beds are required to start a first year MBBS course, but we are planning for the future,” Vice-Chancellor Mayilvahanan Natarajan said.

Addressing a press conference to announce the upcoming convocation of the university, he also said that it had been decided to conduct two graduation ceremonies every year for the benefit of students going abroad for higher studies. Efforts were being made to make certificates available within a month of completion of course for students who want to apply abroad.

Among other activities initiated by him are computerisation of the entire system at the university, radical changes to the examination pattern and setting up of skills labs in hospitals.

An IT consultant, Sumant Raman from TCS, has been appointed to look at the possibility of computerisation to increase operational efficiency. “We are looking at computerising student attendance and even assessment; apart from the accounting system of the university,” the V-C said.

Postgraduate students will, from next year, take Objective Structured Clinical/Practical Examinations, a change from the lengthy essay-type answer system being followed now. A consultant from Glasgow will be in Chennai to train the staff in conducting OSCE/OCPE tests.

The university has also created fellowships in various centres of excellence for training young doctors in sub-specialities, Dr. Natarajan said.

An MoU had been signed with the Government General Hospital here for research collaboration.

Subsequent to the World Classical Tamil Conference, the university had announced that it would provide grants to authors for promoting scientific books in Tamil.

The 20th convocation would be held at the University of Madras on Saturday to award degrees and diplomas in various Medical, Dental, Indian Medicine and Allied Health Sciences courses, to 10,995 candidates.

The Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) degree would be conferred on six eminent medical practitioners — K. Anandakannan, former Vice-Chancellor and ophthalmologist, TN Dr. MGR Medical University; R. Surendran, Director, Institute of Surgical Gastroenterology & Liver Transplant, Government Stanley Hospital; B. Biswakumar, neurologist; J.P. Rajkumar, paediatrician; G. Nachiar, ophthalmologist; and S. Bhaskaran, orthopaedic surgeon.

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