Modi inaugurates 11 new medical colleges and a new campus of CICT in Tamil Nadu
New Delhi, January 13, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 11 new medical colleges and a new campus of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday through video conference.
Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya, L Murugan and Bharati Pawar and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K.Stalin were amongst those present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said that, with the inauguration of 11 medical colleges and the inauguration of the new building of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, the health of the society was being furthered and at the same time people's connection with their culture would get stronger.
The Prime Minister pointed out that shortage of doctors had remained an issue for a very long time and the current government made it a priority to address this critical gap.
He pointed out that, against 387 medical colleges in the country in 2014, when he assumed office, the number had gone up to 596 in the last seven years, an increase of 54%.
He said that, in 2014, India had around 82,000 medical undergraduate and post-graduate seats, which had gone up to 148,000 now, an increase of about 80%.
In 2014, there were seven AIIMS in the country. But after 2014, the number of AIIMS approved has increased to 22.
Modi said that, at the same time, various reforms have been undertaken to make the medical education sector more transparent.
He recalled that he had recently inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh.
He expressed happiness that by establishing colleges in the two aspirational districts of Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar along with one in the hilly district of the Nilgiris, regional imbalance was being addressed.
The Prime Minister said that the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 pandemic had reaffirmed the importance of the health sector.
"The future will belong to societies that invest in healthcare. The Government of India has brought many reforms in the sector. Thanks to Ayushman Bharat, the poor have access to top quality and affordable healthcare. The cost of knee implants and stents have become one-third of what it was," he said.
He said that, by providing sanitary napkins at the cost of 1 rupee, a healthy lifestyle among the women will be furthered.
"The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission aims to address the critical gaps in health infrastructure and health research especially at District level. A support of over Rs 3,000 crore would be provided to Tamil Nadu in the next five years. This will help in establishing Urban Health & Wellness Centres, District Public Health labs and Critical Care Blocks across the state," he said.
"In the coming years, I envision India as being the go-to destination for quality and affordable care," he remarked. "India has everything needed to be a hub for medical tourism. I say this based on the skills of our doctors.”
He urged the medical fraternity to look at telemedicine as well.
The Prime Minister remarked that he was always fascinated by the richness of the Tamil language and culture. “One of the happiest moments of my life was when I got a chance to speak a few words in the world’s oldest language, Tamil, at the United Nations,” he said.
He said that his Government also had the honour of setting up the Subramania Bharati Chair on Tamil Studies at the Banaras Hindu University. He said that this chair, located in his Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, will drive greater curiosity about Tamil.
Commenting on the emphasis on promotion of Indian languages and Indian Knowledge Systems in the National Education Policy 2020, the Prime Minister said that Tamil can now be studied as a classical language in school education at the secondary level or middle level.
"Tamil is one of the languages in the Bhasha-Sangam where school students get familiar with 100 sentences in various Indian languages in audio videos. Largest e-content of Tamil has been digitized under the Bharatavani project.
“We are encouraging education in mother tongue and local languages at schools. Our Government has also started making technical courses like Engineering available to students in Indian languages," he added.
The Prime Minister said "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat" seeks to enhance the spirit of unity in diversity and bring the people closer.
“When a young child in Haridwar sees a Thiruvalluvar statue and finds out about his greatness, a seed of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' is laid in a young mind,” he emphasised.
The new medical colleges are being established at an estimated cost of about Rs 4,000 crore, out of which around Rs 2,145 crore has been provided by the Union government and the rest by the Tamil Nadu government.
The districts in which the new medical colleges are being established are Virudhunagar, Namakkal, The Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.
The new medical colleges, with capacity of 1450 seats, are being established under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of "Establishing of New Medical Colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital". Under the scheme, medical colleges are established in districts, which do not have either a government or a private medical college.
The new campus of CICT is fully funded by the Union Government and is built at a cost of Rs 24 crore. CICT, which was operating from a rented building so far, will now operate from a new three-storeyed building. The new campus has a spacious library, an e-library, seminar halls and a multimedia hall.