Kolkata: IIT-Kharagpur will be the first technology institute to offer medicine courses, set to start from the 2019 session with a batch of 50 students.
A 400-bed hospital on the campus, which will act as a teaching facility, will start admitting patients from mid-2018. The institute will seek permission from the Medical Council of India only after the hospital starts functioning. “For the first MBBS batch, we will restrict the number of candidates to 50,” said Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya, deputy director of the country’s oldest IIT.
The MBBS degree will be awarded by IIT-Kharagpur, which is yet to formulate the admission process. “We will be at liberty to conduct our own entrance examination and not necessarily admit students from NEET. The IITs are governed by a separate law, which enables them to hold their own admission exams, like for engineering courses. Admissions to engineering take place through IIT-JEE (Advanced). A final decision is yet to be taken,” a source said.
Explaining the reason behind introducing the course, Bhattacharyya said, “The purpose is to cater to the needs of local patients as well as the institute. We want this to be a research hospital and patients should benefit from the technological developments at IIT.”
The super-specialty hospital will include departments, such as cardiology, neurology, orthopaedic, out-patient, besides a medical diagnostic centre and an emergency ward. “The hospital will run as a special purpose vehicle under a registered society with a Board of Governors at the helm. The society will be registered under the West Bengal Registration Act. The IIT-Kgp director will be the chairman of the board,” Bhattacharyya said. With the IIT planning to sign an MoU with the society-run hospital, activities at the two places will be collaborative.
Several reputable hospitals have been approached to manage the hospital operations.”Talks are on with cardiologist Devi Shetty. Several renowned doctors will be associated with the hospital,” said a source.
With the IIT wanting the hospital to focus on research, associated doctors will have an opportunity to carry out medicotechnical research. “We aim to introduce videography during treatment, with the patient’s permission. This will allow us to gather information, which can be transmitted anywhere across the globe to other doctors, who can then go through the treatment procedure and records to make recommendations,” said the institute deputy director.
The Kharagpur institute has already received permission to start the curriculum from the human resource and development ministry.