The century-old Lucknow medical college, whose name was changed by former Chief Minister Mayawati from King George's Medical University to Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, may soon be back with its original tag.
This follows a sustained campaign undertaken by the teachers and students of the institution that was among the internationally acclaimed medical schools of the country. Significantly, the present government, which has been undoing Mayawati ever since it rode on to power, was favourably inclined towards conceding the popular demand.
While admitting that the proposal has been cleared by his department, state medical education principal secretary J P Sharma said, "Yes, our department has cleared the proposal, which is now pending a final nod by the state cabinet."
"While the previous government changed the name of the medical college purely for political reasons, we would like revert it to the old name simply because of professional reasons,", said a source close to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Not only teachers and students but even the alumnae of the institution have reasons for raising this demand to get back the 'King George' tag.
"Since 1911, when the first batch of medical graduates passed out of this medical institution, it was known as King George's Medical College (later university) all across the globe; and ever since the name was changed to Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, we have to do a lot of explaining, yet it is not easy to make everyone understand that the institution remains one and the same," pointed out a senior faculty member.
"There have been occasions when research papers submitted for publication in international medical journals or foreign institutions have been rejected for the simple reason that they are not familiar with CSMMU; King George is an internationally acclaimed brand," he added.
"We tried raising our voice against the move during the previous regime, but we were gagged, so we had no choice but to accept the change; but now that there is some semblance of democracy in the state, we are hoping that the popular voice will be allowed to prevail," observed a leading surgeon, who retired sometime ago from the institution.
Interestingly, this is the fourth time that the name of the prestigious institution would witness a change. AS KGMC, it was a constituent of Lucknow University right up to 2003, when Mayawati upgraded it into a university.
She also renamed it after Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj, an erstwhile ruler of Kohlapur (Maharastra), who had emerged as among Bahujan Samaj Party's key icons on account of the pioneering work her had done for the welfare of Dalits in his kingdom.
However, no sooner than the Mayawati government fell and Mulayam Singh Yadav assumed power in 2004, the institution was back as KGMU, only to be reversed to CSMMU after Mayawati returned to power in 2007.
And it might be soon known as KGMU once again.