JNIMS - Untold story
- Part 2 -

A D Singh *

 Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in 2017
Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in 2017 :: Pix - TSE

Talking about the Medical Council of India (MCI) and its fascinating reports, the first inspection possibly for (he Letter of Intent was done in early November' 08 as I came to learn. Perhaps the inspector came unannounced, nobody in the medical directorate or the hospital knew about the visit. In fact, a function for the inauguration of the proposed new OPD (ground floor) over which the Preclinical Block was later built, was going on at that time unaware of the inspection.

I don't know to this day how she made the inspection, but her report was very telling of the state of the proposed college. I learnt that the Govt took the decision to establish the college in May 2007 and applied to MCI. But as it was done after the last date for that year, the govt reapplied next in 2008. Works had been very tardy as told to me by the CM later. That was why he took over the project himself.

Shortly, after joining the Institute as the Director, I asked my colleagues in the medical directorate about the status. I came to know a seed money of rupees 10 lakhs had been provided in the budget of that year and an MCI inspection had been done as mentioned above. They were not aware of any report of MCI at that time.

Subsequently, one day in the last week of Feb '09, the Registrar of Manipur University rang to inform me that a Fax Message had been received from MCI and he, being a neighbour was bringing it to my home. Lo, there it was the most unflattering report which briefly stated— no Principal, no staff, no operation etc etc. negative against most items.

Further it directed me to appear in person along with the compliance report and a draft of rupees three lakhs and fifty thousands on the 28th Feb 09. The report was hurriedly prepared as there was not much to tell, all answers being done or shall be done.. Staff, teaching and non-teaching were hurriedly appointed to beat the announcement of general election of March 09.

But it was of no avail as the deficiencies in the staff and infrastructures could not be fully met inspite of best efforts and three inspections in three months. To keep the staff particularly the teaching staff happy and occupied seminars and workshops on teaching and management were organised and endured with a false smile the constant demands for better perks and facilities.

By the summer of 2010, we were fully prepared for another inspection for the permission having appointed the full staff and provided other requirements including facility for virtual classrooms, two ICCU, modern OTs, central oxygen pipe lines etc. even a seminar hall with 200 seats in the hospital.

A new team came and found faults with the original application which lack certificates of fire services, water analysis report, land ownership (patta) in the name of the JNIMS (JN Hospital was in the name of Medical Director) etc. The earlier inspectors had never raised such things. In despair I rung up the Hon'ble CM who hurriedly assembled the concerned officials and gave me all the needed documents by 11 am next day before the end of inspection.

All the same he mentioned in the report that the library and visiting room of hostels were not air conditioned. He also commented on the area of library. Disgusted I rang him up complaining about such frivolity. He calmly told me to break the walls of some room of the library to increase the size and we did.

The Institute was finally given the permission to start admission from Aug 2010. It was promptly inaugurated on the 16th Aug by the then governor of Manipur Sri Gurbachan Jagat in the presence of the then Honourable CM Sri O Ibobi Singh and his ministers, MPs, and other officials. A plaque was unveiled at the entrance to Preclinical Block by the Governor.

On that fateful day a drawing of the proposed administrative and faculty building as well as the master plan of the Institute were exhibited. A vision document entitled JNIMS - Vision 2020-15 was also released by the governor. A grand dinner was hosted by the then CM in the evening on our request, ably managed by Sri Th Lokeswar Singh, the then Dy Speaker.

As I was looking after the guests which included ministers, chairpersons and govt officials besides the staff of JNIMS, Sri N Biren Singh, present CM, who was then minister of IFCD & Sports, commented 'Tamo AD must be the happiest man today'.

Yes indeed, I was very happy and satisfied. Mission accomplished. I was then Adviser on the request ofthe President of the Society. By my reckoning, the institute is only 9 yrs old. However, recent celebration of Foundation Day was referred as the 12th FD, which is misleading.

Talking about the master plan, I have a very interesting anecdote to tell. I insisted the Administrative and Faculty Block should be built on the other side of the road (north) so that enough space is left for future expansion of the hospital for which I had a vision as mentioned in the document. But the Chief Architect of the govt. Sri Krishna Kumar Sharma, was so adamant to build it at the present site.

We had lots of discussion with the then PWD Minister Sri K Ranjit Singh. One day, out of curiosity, I asked the architect why he was so insistent on the site. His simple answer bowled me over. He wanted the building to be the most prominent landmark in the area, which can be seen as one enter the vicinity of the campus.

I understood his ambition and dream plan. Indeed it was supposed to be a dream plan. We both spent a lot of time discussing it. I briefed him about the space requirement and other facilities and my own idea of a complex, quadrangular in shape with a central structure to house the 4 lectures theatres, one seminar hall for 300 besides recreation rooms and a canteen for students.

He conceived and planed a massive and majestic structure with dooms at four limbs of the main building and one over the central structure. He had his way because the minister told me to agree with the engineers. Unfortunately, the building which was to be four storied, had possibly been dwarfed and is not very visible at present.

The institute could not had been established in such short time from scratch but for the commitment, help and understanding of Sri O Ibobi Singh, then CM. He had immensely contributed to the establishment of the institute in many ways. It may surprise many people that he gave me loan to meet the urgent expenditure. One such occasion was when the medical director was taking too much time to procure bedsteads for the hostel.

In an emergency meeting, he authorised me to procure myself from the market and gave a good amount of money as advance. The bedsteads were purchased from as many as 12 workshops as no single one can supply all the quantity within the short period. Will anyone do it? And this was not the last.

He detailed his three minister/chairman K Ranjit Singh, N Biren Singh, L Jayanta kumar Singh and Kh Lokendra Singh (chairman PDA) to supervise the works. I am deeply indebted to all govt officials particularly Sri Vumlunmang Vualnam, then commissioner of Health & Family Welfare, who gave me his valuable time and advice whenever I needed. In feet, he was the only official of medical department who supported me in all ways.

My tenure was very short but eventful with threats of strikes from one powerful organisation and strikes by Manipur govt staff in JN Hospital. Shortly after publication of an advertisement for teaching posts as per the minimum requirement for permission, a junior doctor visited me and asked why a particular post was not advertised and whether I am keeping it for a special person.

I was aghast because that was far from my mind. Some posts in certain depts.. were not advertised as it was not needed by MCI. In a later occasion, I told the staff that they exist for the college, not the college for them. I don't know how many of them understand the import/meaning of the statement.

One other comment from my staff which is still haunting me is the manner in which he asked the question whether "the authority was sleeping and doing nothing to fulfil the MCI recommendation", fully knowing that the institute had been established in a record time. It boiled my blood.

I left the Institute shortly afterwards. These are some of the sore moments in an otherwise happy and satisfying assignment. It has given me an opportunity to fulfil my life's desire to give to all what they deserve without any extraneous consideration. I was privileged to be the founder Director of JNTMS even though it was accidental.

Concluded ....

* A D Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 09, 2020

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