Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A small function scheduled for Wednesday will mark the dedication of the 15th government medical college, at Dharmapuri, in Tamil Nadu.

Though it will begin in a modest manner in Dharmapuri, the college is a milestone for medical education in the State. Dharmapuri will also be the first of a string of new government medical colleges that will come up in the next few years. Plans in the pipeline include opening medical colleges in the four other districts of Villupuram, Tiruvarur, Perambalur and Sivaganga.

“It is a huge step for us—the new medical college,” Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam told The Hindu. In the Dharmapuri college, which has 100 seats, 94 candidates have enrolled as on Monday. Three candidates each from the government and all-India quota seats have not signed up yet, according to Director of Medical Education T.P. Kalaniti.

The college is located on the vast 50-acre campus of the Dharmapuri Government Hospital. While the college will be located in an existing new building, hostel facilities have been provided for students and the faculty at a nearby block of TNHB flats. Each unit will also have a kitchen.

Facilities have been created to provide meals to all students, officials said.