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University of medicine makes debut

The state’s first medical university, set up more than a year ago, is ready to open its doors.

The government announced on Tuesday that students who have cleared Joint Entrance Examinations 2003 — results of which were declared last week — can register themselves with the new medical university.

Nearly 1,000 JEE candidates, who will take admission in the state’s 10 under-graduate medical and dental colleges this year, will be the first batch of doctors to be awarded degrees by the new medical university when they complete the MBBS and bachelor’s degree in dental surgery (BDS) courses. Those who will seek admission to the state’s nursing courses will be also registered under the new university from this year.

“We will begin with MBBS, BDS and nursing courses this year. From 2003, students of any medical institution in the state will be awarded degrees by the new university. We will start offering courses in other streams, like homoeopathy, ayurvedic and unani medicine from next year, when the infrastructure is ready,” said Madan Choudhury, vice-chancellor.

He announced that admission of students to the 150 seats in the newly-set-up under-graduate college at SSKM Hospital in Calcutta, as well as to the state’s first private medical college in Midnapore, will also begin this year.

The government’s decision to flag off the university from the current academic session has drawn a sigh of relief from admission-seekers in the state’s medical colleges.

After the government formulated the medical university act, the affiliations of the medical colleges were officially transferred to the new university. The delay on the part of the government in starting the academic functioning of the medical university had worried the students, who feared that the degrees awarded to them by the old affiliated universities would no longer be valid and their careers could be at stake.

Medical students were awarded under-graduate and post-graduate degrees by the universities of Calcutta, Burdwan and North Bengal, to which the respective colleges were affiliated. Calcutta University alone had four under-graduate medical institutions affiliated to it, apart from the SSKM institute.

Sources said that though the medical university was set up a long time ago, the government was unable to get it functioning academically because of certain “technical errors” in the provisions of the act. “We have rectified the problems and now, we are fully prepared to run the university,” said vice-chancellor Choudhury.

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