THE INAUGURATION of IIT Kharagpur Multi-Specialty Hospital was withdrawn at the last minute from the Prime Minister’s convening schedule following a letter from alumni opposing the renaming of the hospital – originally dedicated to former West Bengal chief minister Dr BC Roy – after Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, The Indian Express has learned.
When contacted, the Registrar of the Tamal Nath Institute said: “The inauguration has been postponed for technical reasons.” Asked about the technical reasons, he replied: “I am not aware of it at the moment.”
Sources said the government asked IIT-Kharagpur to clarify whether the hospital had indeed been renamed, after a protest letter from a group of former students. The inauguration was suspended once the institute recognized the change in nomenclature.
There are two medical institutions at IIT-Kharagpur named after Dr BC Roy. The institute’s medical center (called BC Roy Technology Hospital), intended for nursing staff, students and the new multi-specialty hospital. While the former has been around for decades, the idea for the hospital was conceived in 2006. Its foundation stone was laid in 2007 by then-President APJ Abdul Kalam. The institute had created a company to run the hospital.
“The original plan was to merge the medical center with the term hospital. This did not happen, however, since the staff employed at the medical center did not want to work for a company. As the merger was ruled out, it was felt that the medical center and the hospital should have different names. The institute then proposed to rename the hospital after Syama Prasad Mookerjee and the Board of Governors approved it in December last year, ”a source from the institute said.
The move was announced this month when Director VK Tewar, posted on Facebook, plans to get the prime minister to inaugurate the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research ahead of his keynote address.
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