The Sindh Medical College (SMC) was granted university status on Friday after the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan signed the ordinance at Bilawal House, making it the third medical university in Karachi.
The college formed in 1973, now the Sindh Medical University (SMU), started under the Sindh Health Department and was affiliated with the Karachi University and Dow Medical College. In December 2003, almost 30 years after its establishment, the college came under the Dow University. More than 10,000 students have reportedly graduated to this date from the SMC.
The signing ceremony of the ordinance was attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Science’s vice chancellor Naushad Shaikh, Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Information Minister Shazia Marri and Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Dr Tariq Rafi, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) head of ENT, has been appointed as SMU’s vice chancellor. While talking to The Express Tribune, he said that the ordinance will be presented in the upcoming Sindh Assembly session.
With reference to the JPMC, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Rafi said that their status is still under deliberation but they will function as teaching hospitals for the students of the new university. It was initially decided to merge the SMC with JPMC, NICH and NICVD to make one university.
Rafi said that the Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan Institute of Oral Health Sciences will continue to be a part of the Dow University of Health Sciences.
As the first vice chancellor of the university, Rafi aims to bring SMC up to the same standards as the other top universities in the country. “We want to raise the SMU’s standard and hope that it will be affiliated with good institutions.”
The president’s spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar, said that the upgraded medical education facility would be open to all those who are academically qualified for admission, without any bias. The SMU will adopt latest teaching methodology, techniques and strategies in order to ensure the most effective educational training and research programmes, elaborated Babar.
Welcoming foreign students, he said that the university would also cater to the educational requirements of the students from the Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The decision to upgrade SMC has been welcomed by its alumni and students of the college, who complained of biased treatment in comparison to the Dow medical students.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.