PM Modi To Virtually Attend IIT-Kharagpur’s 66th Convocation

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 66th convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, though virtually, on February 23.

The Prime Minister is set to inaugurate IIT Kharagpur’s medical school, which will begin admissions from 2021, to become the first IIT to dish out MBBS degrees, according to a PTI report.

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, IIT Kharagpur’s medical facility, is aimed at benefitting a rural and semi-urban population of over 4 crores. It will cover several districts of southern West Bengal and near reaches in Odisha and Jharkhand.

The outdoor patient department of the super-specialty hospital will kickstart along with the indoor facility. A total of 400 beds will be there in the indoor facility. The IIT Kharagpur will then launch the MBBS programme in sync with the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) guidelines. The course will have 50 seats initially.

Plans for elaboration are also in place. The facility will accommodate up to 750 beds and 100 MBBS seats in the second phase.

IIT Kharagpur will manage the academic affairs while the day-to-day hospital management will be taken care of by a special-purpose vehicle. IIT Kharagpur has collaborated with Tata Medical Center, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and South Eastern Railway Hospital to make this course a success.

The IIT Kharagpur will honour nine institute gold medalists and 66 silver medal winners in person during the 66th convocation following all COVID-19 protocols.

More than 2,800 other students will be awarded degrees virtually. DSc (Honoris Causa), IIT Kharagpur Life Fellow Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award will also be given during the convocation.

“This is a unique occasion for us; while we are welcoming the 2020 batch of alumni, we also feel for the students who would have to miss the cherished occasion. Being a former student myself, I can feel their disappointment and it was an extremely hard decision, which I had to take, keeping in mind the welfare of the students. We will plan to organize an event to bring back this batch together at a later date when the pandemic subsides completely to let them have their moment of glory,” IIT Kharagpur director Virendra K Tewari was quoted as saying about the e-Convocation by PTI.

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