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As govts play name game for 10 years,students and faculty stick to ‘Georgians’

The Samajwadi Party government’s decision to change the name of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University back to King George Medical University has been welcomed by the ‘Georgians’ the term students and faculty still use to describe themselves.

Written by SURBHI KHYATI | Lucknow |
July 26, 2012 2:25:30 am

The Samajwadi Party government’s decision to change the name of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU) back to King George Medical University (KGMU) has been welcomed by the ‘Georgians’ — the term students and faculty still use to describe themselves.

Most believe the right thing has been done and they hope there will be no further name change in future.

Established in 1911 when King George V and Queen Mary of England visited British India,King George Medical College remained under Lucknow University till September 2002,when it was finally upgraded as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University by the Mayawati government.

In 2003,the Samajwadi Party government of Mulayam Singh Yadav changed the name to King George Medical University. However,when Mayawati returned to power,she renamed it CSMMU in 2007. On Monday,the institute again became King George Medical University.

Even after the university was named CSMMU,the name of King George never really went away. All official documents described it as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University — ‘erstwhile King George Medical College’. The alumni always called themselves ‘Georgians’.

Talking about the deep association of Georgians with the name King George Medical University,Vice-Chancellor Prof D K Gupta said: “Over a hundred years,the medical college has earned a reputation and people across the world knew this institution as King George Medical College.” The V-C said the feeling of ‘Georgian brotherhood’ came out strongly during the International Georgian Alumni Meet held last year,when several alumni expressed their desire that the name be changed to KGMU.

“Students and teachers have been calling themselves Georgians for generations. Even after the name was changed to CSMMU,apart from official communication,nobody really called us CSMMU. Even people from other universities called the university KGMC,” said Abbas Ali Mahdi,Proctor.

The first time the name was changed to CSMMU,a number of Georgians and faculty members had protested. The second time,however,there were no protests. “The first time,we had gone to meet the then CM Mulayam,requesting for a name. This time,however,no delegation went. But the name change was not unexpected this time,” said Mahdi,whose father was also a faculty at the university.

Dr Ashish Wakhlu,an alumni as well as a faculty member,however believes that frequent name changes should stop. “The ping pong game over the name of the university should stop. Anyone who has been a Georgian is associated with the name King George Medical College and it was our desire that the name KGMU be restored. That said,the frequent change in the university’s name hurts doctors who go abroad to pursue higher studies or for career advancement,” said Wakhlu.

As for the functioning of the university,the V-C said that the change will not affect it in any way. “We will use all the stationery and other materials with the name CSMMU on it. The only thing to be done is to inform all the universities,institutions,medical and dental councils of India and University Grant Commission about the new name,” he said.

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