Inaugurates new campus of Omayal Achi College of Nursing

Education must be beyond controversies, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said at the inauguration of the new campus of the Omayal Achi College of Nursing at Puzhal, near here.

School and college admissions attract controversies almost every year, Mr. Chidambaram said. For instance, this year, a Delhi college had declared that the cut-off mark was 100 per cent. If this is the base mark, can students score over 100 per cent, he wondered.

This was the situation, at a time when the government was attempting to increase the number of students who take up higher education from 12 in every 100, to 15. The long term goal is to increase it to 20 while the global average was 45 in 100 students.

There were insufficient number of colleges and universities in the country. More opportunities must be created and the government alone could not do that. Private charitable institutions should be involved, actively supported by the government.

Mr. Chidambaram said that while the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme had managed to ensure 98 per cent coverage in primary sections, attention should now be focussed on retaining students in middle and high school, and then encouraging them to go on to higher education.

There was a great thirst, aspiration among students from across economic strata to take up higher education these days, even if they had to avail of bank loans. One out of every four bank loans disbursed for education was from Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University Vice-Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said that the new facilities at the Omayal Achi College of Nursing were impressive. If a ranking of colleges were to take place, the college would probably figure right on top of the list.

Valli Alagappan, managing trustee, MR Omayal Achi MR Arunachalam Trust, said that the college had been functioning from leased premises. Efforts were taken over the years to set up its own infrastructure dedicated to nursing training.

The motto of the trust was ‘With love to serve' and, in keeping with this, highly subsidised training was being provided to students.

Vivian Ramsden, from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, spoke about her institution's long relationship with the nursing college.

She handed over a cheque to fund research capacity and training to principal Kanchana Khan.

Kasi Viswanathan, trustee, and Kamala Selvaraj of GG Hospital spoke.