Silvassa: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new campus of the NAMO Medical Education and Research Institute, the sole medical college in the UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on April 17, 2023. After functioning from a rented structure, the institute is now poised to relocate to its independent 35-acre campus in Silvassa. This establishment has emerged as a ray of hope and an emblem of the developing aspirations of the area’s inhabitants, of whom around 40% are tribal, as reported by PTI.
In 2019, Prime Minister Modi had laid the foundation stone of the medical college.
The state-of-the-art infrastructure, which includes a multi-story library, an academic block with four lecture halls and an auditorium, a club house, residential quarters for faculty members, hostels for students, and outdoor and indoor sports facilities, has been erected at a cost of Rs. 203 crores.
Dr Arun T, the Union Territory’s health secretary told PTI, “Pursuing higher education, especially medical education, has been a far-fetched dream for students of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
“Earlier, before the establishment of the medical college, only 10-12 students from the Union Territory could get the opportunity to avail seats in medical colleges all over India from the central pool quota allotted to the Union Territory each year. The Union Territory could establish a medical college only in 2019 when, with the support and guidance of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health, the NAMO Medical Education and Research Institute began functioning,” Dr Arun T said.
The Institute’s dean, Dr. Ramchandra Goyal said that the medical college opened with a capacity of 150 MBBS students in the academic year 2019-20. The capacity has since been raised to 177, with 27 positions designated for students from economically weaker backgrounds. At present, the college has a total enrollment of 682 students.
“The target is to increase the number of seats to 200,” Goyal said.
Third-year student Mitesh Jha said he considered himself fortunate unlike the meritorious students of his previous generations who had to battle to make it to the limited number of medical seats from the Union Territory to fulfil their dream of becoming doctors.
“There has been no medical college in the Union Territory since Independence. I am happy that I am able to pursue medical education,” Jha said.
Jha is thrilled about the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to inaugurate the new campus and is eager to engage in dialogue with him.
“I am very excited about getting to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.
Mehak Bhasara, a first-year student hailing from the tribal community and a resident of Randha village in Silvassa district, encapsulates the transformation that has occurred in the region.
“Nobody in my family, not even in my entire village, could become doctors. It’s my fortune that a medical college has come up in Dadra and Nagar Haveli,” she said, adding that she will serve the people of the area after becoming a doctor.
Through this medical college, students from poor families are also able to fulfil their dreams of pursuing medical education, she said.
Located four kilometres from the medical college, the Shri Vinoba Bhave Civil Hospital attached to it caters to the needs of the entire population of the Union Territory and the adjoining villages of Gujarat and Maharashtra, in addition to other states.
Set up in 1952 and earlier known as Cottage Hospital, it was a 60-bed facility with bare minimum amenities before being expanded to 316 beds. It is currently functioning with 650 beds and is being upgraded to 1,270.
Besides the NAMO Medical Education and Research Institute, Modi will also lay the foundation stone for the proposed Ayurvedic Hospital and Wellness Centre, planned to come up in a serene area near Madhuban Dam on 40 acres of land with lush green surroundings. It is estimated to cost Rs 70 crore.
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