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Focus on promoting medical research in State

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NEW INITIATIVE: B. Ekbal, chairperson of the expert committee, presenting the report for the establishment of a Medical University to Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar
NEW INITIATIVE: B. Ekbal, chairperson of the expert committee, presenting the report for the establishment of a Medical University to Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

Staff Reporter

Proposed university will coordinate the functioning of all colleges of modern medicine and allied subjects

  • Government colleges to be treated as constituent colleges
  • Seven research centres proposed by committee

    Thiruvananthapuram: The expert committee headed by B. Ekbal, former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University, has recommended that the proposed Kerala University of Medical and Allied Sciences focus on fostering and promoting medical research, with particular emphasis on the special health problems of the State.

    The project report for the proposed Medical University was submitted to Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy by Dr. Ekbal here on Saturday.

    The deteriorating quality of medical and nursing education in the State, with the mushrooming of a host of self-financing institutions, scattered under various Universities has made it imperative that all these institutions be brought under one umbrella, Dr. Ekbal said. The proposed University will affiliate and coordinate the functioning of all colleges of modern medicine and allied subjects in the State, standardise the curricula and syllabi of courses, regulate the academic standards as well as decide upon the process and criteria for selection of students to various colleges affiliated to it.

    The Government colleges under the University, most of which have a proven record in excellence, will play a leadership role in promoting medical education and hence will be accorded special status under the University, Dr. Ekbal added.

    The Government colleges will thus be treated as Constituent Colleges of the Medical University, with certain privileges and rights. The professors in these colleges, on the basis of their academic qualifications, will be designated as University Professors.

    Priority will be given to the establishment of a Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, for conducting research, postgraduate and Ph.d. programmes because the future of medicine is in genomics and stem cell research, Dr. Ekbal said. Some seven such research centres have been proposed by the committee, to be established under the Medical University.

    Dr. Ekbal said the Medical University should have firm academic linkages with other research institutions in the State and outside, as well as international agencies such as the WHO. It will also have joint academic programmes with the medical fraternity in the Health Services.

    While the proposed University needs to affiliate only modern medical institutions, a Centre for Integrated Medicine will be established under the University for exploring the possibilities for joint research and interdisciplinary studies.

    The committee has suggested that the University should have a separate Administrative Manual and a Financial Code. The ministerial staff in the University should be new recruits, with multiple skills in administration and information technology. The expert committee had also been asked to give its recommendations to improve the performance of the five Government Medical Colleges and allied institutions in the State. This report would be submitted by the end of the month, he added.

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