The much-awaited medical college of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) began functioning here on Tuesday with the first batch of its students attending classes, an official said.
Soon after it was formally inaugurated by Bihar's Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, the first batch of 50 students of AIIMS-Patna attended their first class at the medical college, parts of which are still under-construction.
"The first class attended by the first batch of students symbolised the beginning of the medical college of AIIMS-Patna," Girish Kumar Singh, founder director of AIIMS-Patna said.
Singh said the first batch of students, comprising 13 girls and 37 boys, came from different parts of the country. They were selected through an all-India pre-medical test conducted by AIIMS in May in Delhi.
Singh recalled that a few months ago, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had announced the opening of AIIMS-Patna this year.
AIIMS-Patna will launch a hospital facility by the next year, Singh told IANS.
The central government in 2006 decided to set up six AIIMS-like institutes across the country, including at Patna, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Rishikesh.
In 2009, the government had further decided to set up two more AIIMS-like institutes at Raiganj in West Bengal and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.