Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
The 91-year-old King George's Medical College will now be called Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday.
A former ruler of Kohlapur, Shahuji was the pioneer of the reservation policy in India when he introduced reservation for downtrodden classes in his kingdom in the year 1902, well before Babasaheb Ambedkar had conceived the idea in the Indian Constitution.
And that is the reason for his being a revered figure in Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party
KGMC was named after King George V, who had come from Britain to lay the foundation stone of the college in 1905. The college started functioning from 1911.
Interestingly, only last week Mayawati had laid the foundation of a super-speciality medical institute named after Shahuji Maharaj in Kohlapur. She had, however, declared that the proposed institute would be set up in Lucknow. The chief minister also brought the foundation stone from Kohlapur to Lucknow, where a site had been earmarked for the purpose.
However, she decided today to upgrade the existing medical facilities at KGMC and rename the same after Shahuji.
"The new institute will have all the super-specialities that were not available in the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, the other super-speciality medical institution set up here in the mid-eighties," an official spokesman said.
He said, "A new institute would have required enormous funds; and in any case there would have been a lot of duplication, so the chief minister decided to use the option of upgrading KGMC itself."
The faculty members and students of KGMC were, however, sore over the development. "Let them upgrade the college, but since this prestigious college is widely known as KGMC, it is wrong to change its name," said a final year student.
"We will hold an emergency meeting of our general body to decide our future course of action on this issue, but surely no one is willing to take this lying down," declared an officer bearer of the Uttar Pradesh Junior Doctors Association.
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