The government of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday issued an order taking over the Rajah Muthiah Medical College in Chidambaram (erstwhile under Annamalai University). With this change, the college will henceforth be managed and affiliated to the Dr MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu, and will come under the auspices of the state Department for Health and Family Welfare.
The government order stated that the Rajah Muthiah Medical College also includes Rani Meyyammai College of Nursing and Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Hospital. The transfer was affected based on the announcement made by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in his budget speech last year, in which he said that this college will be taken over by the government and will be known as the Government Medical College, Cuddalore.
The property on which the college and its premises are located are worth Rs 249.99 crore; and the institution has 332 teaching staff and 1,426 non-teaching staff members. The total number of students in the college during the current academic year is 2,293.
The Health and Family Welfare Department is expected to issue a separate order in relation to matters around the status of the existing staff members, seats and the fee structure of the college and its affiliation under Dr MGR Medical University.
The takeover is considered significant since students of the college have been on a sit-in protest inside the campus since December 9, 2020, for over 45 days demanding that the college reduce the fees. They have been highlighting that the fee in Rajah Muthiah Medical College, a government medical college affiliated to Annamalai University, is higher than the fees collected by other government medical colleges. While the college shut down the campus and asked the students to vacate the hostels, the students continued their protests outside the campus including setting up a kitchen to provide food for their peers taking part in the protests.