Renaming hospital: After alumni object, an inauguration is shelved


THE INAUGURATION of the multi-specialty hospital at IIT Kharagpur was dropped last minute from the Prime Minister’s convocation schedule following a letter from alumni objecting to renaming the hospital — originally dedicated to former chief minister of West Bengal Dr B C Roy — after Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, The Indian Express has learned.

When contacted, Institute Registrar Tamal Nath said: “The inauguration was deferred for some technical reasons.” Asked to elaborate on the technical reasons, he said, “I am not aware of that right now.”

Sources said the government asked IIT-Kharagpur to clarify whether the hospital was, indeed, renamed, after a protest letter from a group of alumni. The inauguration was shelved once the institute acknowledged the change in nomenclature.

There are two medical facilities of IIT-Kharagpur named after Dr B C Roy. The institute’s medical centre (called B C Roy Technology Hospital), meant for treating staff, students, and the newly built multi-specialty hospital. While the former has been around for decades, the hospital’s idea was conceived in 2006. Its foundation stone was laid in 2007 by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam. The institute had set up a company to run the hospital.

“The original plan was to merge the medical centre with the hospital eventually. That, however, didn’t happen since the staff employed with the medical centre did not want to work for a company. Since the merger was ruled out, it was felt that the medical centre and the hospital should have different names. The institute then moved a proposal to rename the hospital after Syama Prasad Mookerjee and the Board of Governors approved it December last year,” said a source in the institute.

The move was announced this month when Director V K Tewar, posted on Facebook plans to get the PM to inaugurate Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research before his convocation address.

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