Setting standards

Print edition : September 07, 2012

A.C. Shanmugam, Chairman, Rajarajeswari Group of Institutions.-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Bangalore is becoming the centre of high-quality education in a variety of fields.

Banglaore has been a centre for educational, scientific and research institutions for more than half a century. Many of these institutions came up in the city as a logical sequel to the presence of public sector enterprises such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), which were established in the 1950s as part of the country's drive towards self-reliance.

No dearth of opportunities

Institutions such as the RajaRajeswari Medical College and Hospital (RRMCH) and the Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME) are turning Bangalore into a centre of high-quality education in their respective fields. Leading educationists (see interviews) point out that there is no dearth of quality educational and coaching opportunities in the city. The city also has facilities for training candidates for the civil services, hitherto considered the preserve of cities such as Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Spardha Chaitra and Universal Coaching Centre (UCC), among others, have ensured that civil services aspirants from Karnataka do not have to look beyond Bangalore for getting high-quality coaching and support for their preparation.

The RRMCH is part of the Rajarajeswari Group of Institutions (RGI). The group aims to develop world-class institutions in the fields of medicine, engineering, management, paramedical sciences and other emerging technologies. In order to fulfil this aim, it set up the Moogambigai Charitable and Educational Trust in 1992. The trust manages several institutions now, including a medical college and hospital, a dental college and hospital, and colleges of nursing, physiotherapy, engineering, management studies and computer applications.

Under the leadership of A.C. Shanmugam, former Member of Parliament from Vellore, the RGI has established itself as a provider of quality education in Karnataka.

Shanmugam has established 25 educational institutions and founded three educational and charitable trusts in Chennai, Arani (in Tamil Nadu) and Bangalore. Apart from this, he has established the Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai, of which he is the Chancellor.

Excerpts from an interview:

What is the vision of the Rajarajeswari Group of Institutions?

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. The Rajarajeswari Group of Institutions started with a visionary outlook to provide the kind of education that would galvanise the future of the students in a meaningful manner. We aim to equip our students with the latest know-how, courage, compassion, character and capabilities. We envision ourselves to be the most respected and sought-after educational institution in India.

What are the major achievements of the Rajarajeswari Group?

One of our major achievements is the provision of community health care services at free or at subsidised rates for the needy. We are known to encourage the pursuit of research and we provide facilities for this in all our educational institutions. We are also known for conducting seminars at national and international levels, which give invaluable exposure and experience to our students. The RajaRajeswari Medical College and Hospital has enrolled for all government subsidised health care schemes that cater to the poor and the needy.

In this age when health care costs are beyond the reach of the common man, the RajaRajeswari Medical College and Hospital is providing speciality and super-speciality services such as dialysis, cardiology, neurology and urology to the poorest of the poor in order to give them a new lease of life. We do this because of the heavy emphasis we place on corporate social responsibility [CSR].

Students of medical college are given adequate global exposure during their internship. They are sent on an exchange programme to the University of Hammersmith in the United Kingdom and also to universities in Dubai and Singapore.

What are your plans for the future?

We have several plans lined up. We intend to set up a virtual laboratory facility for students and doctors. Telemedicine is becoming an important aspect of health care and as such we plan to set up a centre of telemedicine. We also aim to become a one-stop service provider for speciality, super-speciality and diagnostic care services.

We are planning to increase the number of international accreditations that our medical college and hospital possesses. We would like to carve a niche segment for subsidised community health care services with the best facilities available to treat the poor and the needy.

Recognising the necessity and value of providing international exposure to our students, we are planning to have tie-ups with foreign universities to conduct exchange programmes. We are also encouraging our faculty members to take part in such programmes. We are encouraging students to become quality professionals by integrating education and services.

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