Bangalore: With the Lok Sabha giving its nod to the NIMHANS Bill, 2010, on Tuesday, the Bangalore-based institute has become the first of its kind in the country to receive the status of ‘institute of national importance’. The Rajya Sabha had already given its green signal to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro- Sciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore Bill, 2012.
“Our institute is now on a par with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry,” said Dr P Satish Chandra, director, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS).
He added that the next step would be the nod from the President for the Bill to become an Act. “The institute will now have more autonomy and we will not be under the purview of statutory bodies like the Medical Council of India (MCI), Nurses Council of India (NCI) and Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI),” said Dr Chandra.
He opined the institute now has a greater role to play. The NIMHANS will be able to have more interdisciplinary courses, and new syllabi, he explained. “A part of this has already been introduced like a few postdoctoral fellowship programmes. The status acquired will even make it easier for us to have collaborations with institutes both in India and abroad,” he noted.
He also pointed out that a proposal has been submitted as part of the 12th Five Year Plan to double the annual grants for planned expenditure from the Centre from Rs 109 crore to Rs 225 crore. “The institute currently receives non-planned funds of Rs 80 crore from the Centre and Rs 26 crore from the state,” said Dr Chandra. However, the reservations for the students and faculty will continue in the existing pattern, he confirmed.