Bangalore: Founded in 1909, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is India’s premier institute for advanced research and education, with equal emphasis on science and engineering. In line with global examples of integrating science, engineering and medicine under a single institution, IISc will be setting up a Postgraduate Medical School along with a multi-speciality hospital in its Bengaluru campus.
The academic centrepiece of this initiative will be an integrated dual degree MD-PhD programme aimed at creating a new breed of physician-scientists, who will pursue careers in clinical research to develop new treatments and healthcare solutions, driven by a bench-to-bedside philosophy. They will be trained simultaneously in the hospital as well as in the science and engineering laboratories at IISc.
The key enabler of this endeavour would be the not-for-profit, 800-bed multi-speciality hospital, catering to the clinical training and research activities of the academic programme. To construct the hospital building, designed by Ahmedabad-based architects Archi Medes (I) Consultants Pvt Ltd, IISc today inked a pathbreaking partnership with philanthropists Susmita and Subroto Bagchi, and Radha and NS Parthasarathy. The couples will collectively donate INR 425 crore (equivalent to about USD 60 million) for the project. After its founding, this is the largest single private donation received by IISc. The hospital will be named as the Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Govindan Rangarajan, Director, Indian Institute of Science said, “We are extremely grateful to Susmita and Subroto Bagchi, and Radha and NS Parthasarathy for their magnanimous gesture. Their generous contribution will help us realise our vision of seamless coupling between clinical sciences, basic sciences, and engineering technology disciplines, all anchored within a vibrant university campus, enabling cross-disciplinary training and research opportunities for young minds. We hope that this creates a new template for institution building in India, particularly in medical research.”
Speaking on behalf of the Bagchis, Ms Susmita Bagchi said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with IISc. In a country like ours, medical research and delivery cannot be left to government or the corporate sector alone. The time has come for more people like us to engage. With IISc, we find shared vision. It is an institution with depth, competence, leadership, and capacity to deliver in scale. We are greatly confident of the lasting, beneficial outcome of our donation.”
Speaking on behalf of the Parthasarathys, Ms Radha Parthasarathy said, “IISc’s larger vision to integrate science, engineering, and medicine in one campus is very new to India. This is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate. IISc’s global reputation and network will attract outstanding talent to create breakthroughs in research and delivery of medicine that must impact the masses. The pandemic we are living through has established the need for urgency in creating universal access and equity in medicine. We are grateful to be a part of a new journey in the history of India’s most respected research institution.”
The Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital will be built within the existing IISc Bengaluru campus, taking full advantage of the co-location with the science and engineering faculties and labs. The ground-breaking is planned for June 2022 and the hospital will be operational by the end of 2024. The Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital will have advanced facilities for diagnostics, treatment and research. The clinical and surgical departments in the hospital will facilitate comprehensive treatment and healthcare delivery in several specialities including oncology, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, urology, dermatology and plastic surgery, organ transplant, robotic surgery, ophthalmology, and so on. In addition, according to National Medical Commission norms, students admitted in specific MD/MS and DM/MCh programmes will also be trained in appropriate sections of the hospital along with their classroom and laboratory training. The hospital will also implement advanced digital technologies and solutions, such as integrated Electronic Medical Record systems and a comprehensive telemedicine suite with haptics interfaces.
The impact of the IISc Medical School and Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital would go beyond science and solutions. It is also expected to set the tone for sustainable health goals and policies for the nation, and serve as a model of clinical research and training that can be emulated nationwide. This ambitious endeavour will be a gamechanger in addressing the future healthcare needs of the country.