Three private colleges brought under Health Department

The Higher Education Department has issued an order transferring the Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital, the Rani Meyyammai College of Nursing and the Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital to the Health Department.

The order follows an announcement by Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam in his 2020-2021 Budget speech that the medical college would function, henceforth, as the Government Medical College, Cuddalore.

According to the order, the registrar of Annamalai University had sent a detailed proposal to the Health and Family Welfare Department.

Since the buildings functioned as one unit and could not be segregated, the university was handing over 113.21 acres, including land, building, assets, equipment and furniture, estimated at โ‚น249.99 crore, the registrar said.

As of November 30, 2020, the institutions had 332 teachers and 1,426 non-teaching staff, besides 287 pensioners. It also had a liability of โ‚น840.93 crore.

The Health and Family Welfare Department will issue a separate order on the status of the staff, the filling up of seats and fee structure, and the change of affiliation to the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University.

Doctorsโ€™ Association for Social Equality general secretary G.R. Ravindranath said the Health Department should immediately issue a timeline for the affiliation of the college with the State medical university.

The order has come seven months late, he said, adding that the Department should also announce the reduction of fee for the affiliated colleges, including the IRT-Perundurai Medical College, which has since been renamed the Government Medical College, Erode.

Students of the Rajah Muthiah Medical and Dental College had gone on an indefinite strike, lasting over 50 days, demanding that the fee structure be on a par with government medical colleges since the State had taken over the institutions.

Last week, the university shut the colleges indefinitely after students threatened to boycott emergency services. The students, however, continued their protest.

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