Governor of Tamil Nadu and Chancellor of this University Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Vice Chancellor Sudha Seshayyan, Faculty , Staff & My dear students,
It gives me great pleasure to be with you as you mark the 33rd Convocation of this University when you are earning degrees and diplomas in various Medical, Dental,
AYUSH and Paramedical disciplines. I have been told that more than 21 thousand candidates are being conferred with the degrees and diplomas today. But there was one fact I want to specially mention. The numbers indicate that around 30% are men and 70% are women. As I congratulate all the graduates, I also convey my special appreciation to the women candidates. It is always special to see women leading from the front in any field. When this happens it is a moment of pride and a moment of joy.
The success of you all and this institution would have made the great MGR very happy.
His governance was full of compassion towards the poor. The subjects of healthcare, education and empowerment of women were dear to him. A few years ago, I had been to Sri Lanka, where MGR was born. India is honoured to be working for our Tamil sisters and brothers in Sri Lanka in the health sector. A free ambulance service financed by India is being widely used by the Tamil community. I can never forget the inauguration ceremony of hospital at Dickoya . This is a modern hospital that will help many. These efforts in healthcare, and that too for the Tamil community would have made MGR very happy.
This is the time when you will transition from one important phase of your life to another.
This is the time when you will transition from learning to healing. This is the time when you will transition from earning marks in your exams to making a mark in society.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a completely unexpected occurrence for the world. There was no pre-set formula for anything. In such a time, India has not only made a new path but also helped others walk with it. India has among the lowest death rates. Recovery rates are high. India is producing medicines for the world and making vaccines for the world. You are graduating at a time when there is great appreciation & respect for Indian medical professionals, scientists and pharma professionals. Overall, the Indian health ecosystem is being seen with new eyes, new respect and new credibility. However, this also means that the world will have greater expectations from you, which is a responsibility on your young and strong shoulders .The learnings from this pandemic can help us fight other diseases like TB as well.
Thiruvalluvar said: the ailing, the doctor, the medicine and the caregiver, the treatment covers all these four. Throughout the pandemic and in the middle of disruption, each of these four pillars were at the fore-front of fighting the war with the unknown enemy. All those who fought the virus emerged as the heroes of humanity.
We are transforming the entire medical education and healthcare sector. The National Medical Commission will bring great transparency. It will also rationalise norms to set up new medical colleges. It will also improve the quality & availability of Human Resources in this sector. During the last six years, MBBS Seats increased by more than 30 thousand, which is a rise of more than 50% from 2014. The number of PG seats increased by 24 thousand which is a rise of around 80% from 2014.In 2014, there were
6 AIIMS in the country. In the last 6 years, we have approved 15 more AIIMS across the country. Tamil Nadu has been known for its medical education. To further help our youth from the state, our Government has permitted the establishment of 11 new medical colleges in the state. These new medical colleges will be established in those districts which currently do not have a medical college. For each of these colleges, the Government of India will give more than 2 thousand Crore Rupees.
We have announced the PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, with an outlay of more than 64 thousand crores in the budget. This will boost capacities of primary, secondar and tertiary health care to cater to detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. Our Ayushman Bharat is the world's largest health assurance programme to provide quality care to 50 crore people for about 1600 medical and surgical procedures.
Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been expanded in number to more than 7000 providing medicines at much cheaper rates. Medical devices like stents and knee implants have been made much cheaper in our country, helping crores of needy.
Doctors are among the most respected professionals in our country. Today, after the pandemic, this respect has gone up even more. This respect is because people know the seriousness of your profession where many times, it is literally a life and death question for someone. However, to be serious and to look serious are two different things. I request all of you to still keep your sense of humour intact. It will also help you cheer up your patients and keep their morale high. I have seen some doctors who are excellent at their job but also light up the hospital surroundings with their humorous conversations with patients and even with the staff. This also gives the people hope, which is crucial in recovery. Keeping your sense of humour healthy will also help in taking care of your own physical and mental health in such a high pressure profession. You are the people who take care of the nation’s health and you can do so only if you concentrate upon your health and fitness as well. Yoga, meditation, running, cycling – choose some fitness regimen which also helps your own well-being.
Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Guru of Swami Vivekananda used to say “शिव ज्ञाने जीव सेवा” – which means, serving people is the same as serving Shiva or God. If there is someone who has the greatest opportunity to literally live this noble ideal, it is medical professionals. In your long careers, grow professionally and at the same time, never forget your own growth. Rise above self-interest. Doing so will make you fearless .
Congratulations once again to those who have got the degrees. With these words I conclude my address and wish you all a purposeful, wonderful and challenging career in this exciting sector.