From the coming academic year, insurance for students in arts and science colleges affiliated to the University of Madras will be mandatory, vice-chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said.

“We decided to implement an insurance scheme for all our students as there are many cases of accidents and many cannot afford to pay for hospitalisation,” he said.

A decision was taken at a recent Syndicate meeting. The National Insurance Company has been selected as the group insurer for all students following a tendering process, Prof. Thiruvasagam said. The premium amount per student per year would work out to only Rs.33, he said. Colleges may collect the prescribed amount from students and directly remit to the insurance company, he added.

The insurance would cover up to Rs.50,000 for hospitalisation following accidents and provide Rs.1 lakh in case of accidental death either of the students or their parents, he said.

Welcoming the move, Nirmala Prasad, Principal, MOP Vaishnav College for Women, said it would be useful for students.

Jasintha Quadras, Principal, Stella Maris, said the college already had insurance cover for both its students and teachers and that it was functioning well. She said the college would like to continue with their existing policy.