In a path-breaking move, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur will introduce medical education in its curriculum along with its renowned courses in engineering, humanities and social science.
With the inclusion of medical studies, Kharagpur became the first of the 16 IITs to take such a step.
The Dr BC Roy institute of Medical Science, named after the former chief minister of West Bengal, is expected to be functional by the end of 2017. Media reports said the institute will include a 400-bed super-specialty hospital.
The central government had allocated Rs 230 crore last year for establishing the medical college, which will be set up on three acres on the edge of the sprawling IIT-Kharagpur campus, authorities said.
“Construction will begin soon and is expected to be finished in approximately 26 months,” IIT-Kharagpur director Partha Pratim told the media.
"It will bring the two diverse disciplines of engineering and medicine together in education and research. Technology will be used to access and treat a large number of patients through satellite centres and secondary hospitals," he said.
Authorities have reportedly applied for necessary approvals from the Medical Council of India (MCI), which oversees undergraduate medical education in the country.
The institute will also contribute in drug designing and other key research areas, apart from serving the local populations. It aims to work on biomedical, clinical and translational research.
The hospital is likely to be upgraded to 750-bed facility in the near future, reports said.
Authorities at IIT-Kharagpur are collaborating with international universities like Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, US, and the Imperial College of London on medical science.
Social media users commented on the decision, with many praising the step.
One Twitter user, using the handle @RanjiGoswami, wrote the step would bring IIT-Kharagpur at par with international educational institutions.
“Remarkable...plans were for last few years...like true global univs,” he wrote.
(With inputs from PTI)