Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram

  (Redirected from Trivandrum Medical College)

The Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Thiruvananthapuram Medical College) is in Thiruvananthapuram (the capital of Kerala), India. Founded in 1951, it was dedicated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and is Kerala's oldest and biggest medical college. The college was known in early records as Medical College (of Thiruvananthapuram), since it was the only medical institute in the state at its inception.It is one of the top medical institutions in india.It is upgraded to the status of all india institute of medical science(AIIMS).Trivandrum medical college is often called AIIMS of kerala.

Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram
Large entrance arch
The college's Golden Jubilee Gate
TypeGovernment college
PrincipalDr Sara Varghese
Location, ,
8°31′26″N 76°55′41″E / 8.524°N 76.928°E / 8.524; 76.928Coordinates: 8°31′26″N 76°55′41″E / 8.524°N 76.928°E / 8.524; 76.928
RegistrationIndian Medical Council
AffiliationsKerala University of Health Sciences

Its campus houses several hospitals and institutions in addition to Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH), including the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmaceutical sciences, the Regional Cancer Centrean autonomous institution under state Government, Thiruvananthapuram Dental College, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology another autonomous institute under Govt of India, the Priyadarshini Institute of Paramedical Sciences,the Sree Avittom Thirunal Hospital for Women and Children (SAT Hospital), Child development centre (CDC) an autonomous institution under state government and the Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory(MDRL). The Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO), also a part of the college, is being upgraded to a national-level independent institute.


The college is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station and the KSRTC Central Bus Station. The 324,680-square-meter(198.23-acre) campus and hospital campus are west of Dr. C. O. Karunakaran Avenue (formerly the Kumarapuram-Ulloor Road). Across from the hospital is the Chalakuzhi road, which meets the NH544 near Pattom. The college is about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Trivandrum International Airport.



In 1948, the government of Travancore appointed a committee to formulate proposals for a medical college at Thiruvananthapuram. The committee submitted its report and the scheme was sanctioned in October of that year. C. O. Karunakaran was appointed Special Officer for the implementation of the scheme, and was the college's first dean.

Tree-lined road
Campus road

The campus was 139 acres (0.56 km2), with hillocks surrounded by evergreen coconut groves and paddy fields and facing the sea, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from northwestern Thiruvananthapuram city. Its layout and architectural designs were prepared by J. A. Ritchie of Bombay. The college and hospital buildings were separated by playgrounds for football and hockey, a cricket pitch, courts for tennis, basketball, badminton and volleyball, and a 400-meter track.

The foundation stone was laid by Raja Pramukh of Travancore–Cochin at 11:45 am on 26 January 1950, and the first group of students was admitted in August 1951. The college was dedicated by Jawaharlal Nehru at 8:00 am on 27 November 1951. In January 1952, the Sri. Avittom Thirunal Hospital (SATH) was dedicated by Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. A men's hostel opened in 1952, followed by a women's Hostel one year later. The Medical College Hospital was dedicated by Prime Minister Nehru in 1954.

The School of Nursing was dedicated by Sethu Lakshmi Bai in 1954, and was upgraded to a college of nursing in 1963. The cancer wing was dedicated in 1958; after two decades, the Regional Cancer Centre was founded. The dentistry course and the first post-graduate course began in 1959.

The library was established during the 1960s. The limb center and mental and ophthalmic hospitals were brought into the college. During the 1990s the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology was founded. The Sree Chitra Thirunal Centre, the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Priya Darshini Institute of Paramedical Sciences were established, and the Silver Jubilee Auditorium was built.

1981 to presentEdit

A specialty block, housing the college's medical and surgical specialties, became operational on 1 July 2010. The block was funded by the prime minister's Swasthya Suraksha Yojna scheme and by the Kerala government. The 253-bed, 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) specialty block houses the outpatient clinics and inpatient wards of six specialties, eight operating theatres, six 29-bed intensive-care units and dialysis and kidney-transplant units.

It is financed and administrated by the Health and Family welfare Department of the government of Kerala. Although the college was initially affiliated with the University of Kerala, since 2010 it has been affiliated with the Kerala University of Health Sciences.


The college began with departments of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and bacteriology. Dr. C. O. Karunakaran was the first Principal of the college. The departments were headed by V. Mathew, C. Vareed, Narayana Rao and C. O. Karunakaran, respectively. The department of bacteriology initially consisted of microbiology, pathology and hygiene. During the Asian flu epidemic,[which?] the department was in the forefront of isolating the influenza virus under R. Ananthanarayanan. In 1981, an AIDS surveillance center was established in the department. The Department of Community Medicine, established in 1953, was the first of its kind in India. A primary health centre for field training was established in July 1953 in Cheruvikkal, which was moved to Pangappara in 1964. Intern training was initially conducted at the Indo-Norwegian MCH unit in Neendakara. The department has a regional cell for the prevention of epidemic and infectious diseases. Forensic medicine which was part of community medicine, became a separate entity in 1966 under V. Kanthasamy. Medico-legal autopsies have been performed since 1955, and the department became a state medico-legal institute in 1986. The department of pharmacology later established an experimental pharmacology wing.

The clinical departments of medicine and surgery and the college hospital were established in 1952. Students were initially trained at the general hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. A department of infectious diseases was established in 1983. R. Kesavan Nair, chief surgeon at the general hospital, was appointed professor of surgery and the department of surgery was established. Recognizing the importance of the new specialty of orthopedic surgery, the government of Travancore sent K. I. George of the health services department to the UK for advanced training. George joined the college in 1956, and founded Kerala's first department of orthopedics.

The department of pediatrics, initially under general medicine, has the highest number of patients in Kerala. The obstetrics and gynecology department began in 1954 and was later added to the family-planning clinic contraception testing unit, the WHO training center and the infertility clinic. The department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, established in 1968, pioneered disability management and the treatment of occupational diseases in India.

Specialty departments were established in 1965 with neurosurgery under M. Sambasivan, former president of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. The department of cardiology was established in 1972, and nephrology in 1981. Medical and surgical gastroenterology units were established in 1972 and 1975, respectively.

Institutions and unitsEdit

Medical collegeEdit

In addition to an MBBS programme, postgraduate degree and diploma courses in 22 specialties are offered.

Medical College HospitalEdit

The Medical College Hospital provides comprehensive health care. It is the largest multi-specialty hospital in South Kerala, serving most of the Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts and adjacent districts in Tamil Nadu. The hospital includes a main hospital block, trauma care and an outpatient department. The 3,250-bed hospital admits 80,000 patients a year and provides over 7,500,000 outpatient consultations. The outpatient block houses outpatient wings of medical and surgical specialties, a pharmacy and resident and graduate housing. The hospital averages 55 major and 125 minor operations and 35 vaginal deliveries and 15 caesarean sections per day. Bed occupancy is 90 to 95 percent throughout the year.[1] The new multi-speciality[2] block of medical college hospital will be inaugurated soon to provide better treatment facilities.

Regional Institute of OphthalmologyEdit

About 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the main campus, the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology is near the general hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. It originated as a government ophthalmic hospital in 1905, and was brought into the National Programme for Control of Blindness in 1995. The RIO is directed by Dr Sahasranamam V. Postgraduate courses in ophthalmology are offered, and a bachelor's-degree course in optometry is available with an annual intake of 20 students. A BSc. Optometry course began in 2010.

RIO is India's second government institute offering a bachelor's degree in optometry. It hosts an optical outlet (in collaboration with HLL Life Care) and a dispensing facility. Specialized services including retina, paediatric ophthalmology, low vision, cornea and glaucoma clinics, an eye bank, tele-ophthalmology, a uvea clinic, a dispensing lab and contact-lens and cataract clinics. Kerala's first mobile eye hospital, Sunayanam, operates from the RIO.

School of OptometryEdit

The School of Optometry is on the RIO campus. A Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in optometry is affiliated with Kerala University of Health Sciences. GMC Thiruvananthapuram is India's second government institute offering a four-year professional degree course in optometry; the first is All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.

Health unitsEdit

The first health unit was established in Neendakara as an Indo-Norwegian collaboration. A primary health centre, founded in July 1953 in Cheruvikkal for field practice, was moved to Pangappara in 1964. Rural health centers for student and intern field practice are in Pangappara and Vakkom.

Sree Avittom Thirunal HospitalEdit

The women's and children's hospital was dedicated in 1952. It was built by the Travancore royal family in memory of Prince Sree Avittom Thirunal, who died at age eight years of rheumatic heart disease.[citation needed] The hospital houses the departments of obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. The OB-GYN department administers the postpartum, family-welfare counseling, infertility, trophoblastic, adolescent and vesicular-mole clinics and WHO and Indian Council of Medical Research collaborative study centers. The hospital also provides pediatric care in cardiology, neurology, nephrology, genetics, surgery and psychiatry, and has one of Kerala's highest delivery rates.

Specialty blockEdit

The specialty block, dedicated in 2011, houses the nephrology, urology, neurology, neurosurgery and medical and surgical gastroenterology departments and their out- and inpatient wings, and has 40 ICU beds, 25 high-care beds and six modular operating theaters. Cadaver organ retrieval and transplant began in 2012, making it the first government hospital to offer the service on a wide scale.

Biomedical engineering departmentEdit

A team of biomedical engineers and technicians is available at the hospital to maintain its equipment.

Child-development centreEdit

The Child Development Centre was established by the government of Kerala for early-child and adolescent care and education, premarital counselling, women's welfare and related fields. It has contributed to reducing childhood disabilities and developed the Thiruvananthapuram Development Chart, used to assess child development in community settings.

Mental Health CenterEdit

The Mental Health Center in Oolampara is administered by the college. With more than 150 patients, it is India's second-largest mental health center. In addition to treatment facilities, a rehabilitation center has been established with the aid of Hindustan Latex Limited.[citation needed]

Chest Diseases HospitalEdit

The former government tuberculosis sanatorium in Pulayanarkottah is now part of the department of respiratory medicine, which is housed here (except for the outpatient department and intensive-care unit, which are at the college). The sanatorium has been renamed the Chest Diseases Hospital.

Dental collegeEdit

Thiruvananthapuram Dental College was founded in 1959, one of four dental colleges in India's four southern states. M. Thangavelu, dean of the medical college, was instrumental in organizing the institution. A. M. Clement, a dental surgeon at the medical college, was appointed its first director. The college admits 50 students a year for its BDS course. Postgraduate courses began in 1966. The college has six departments under director N. O. Varghese.[3]

College of Pharmaceutical SciencesEdit

Established in 1967, Kerala's first pharmaceutical college offers bachelor's and master's degrees and a diploma in pharmaceutical sciences. The college includes departments of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutical microbiology. Other facilities are toxicology and animal labs, a drug-information center, morphine-tablet manufacturing and a medicinal

College of NursingEdit

The college, founded in 1972, is affiliated with the University of Kerala medical school. It has offered postgraduate programmes in nursing since 1987. The college has five areas of speciality training: mental-health nursing, medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, obstetrical and gynaecological nursing and community-health nursing. Although the number of male students permitted to enroll in the school was originally restricted to 12.5 percent of applicants, the restriction has been removed. A specialised nursing wing opened in 2011.

Regional Artificial Limb Fitting CentreEdit

The centre, which primarily provides rehabilitation services for amputees, was established in 1975.

Central LibraryEdit

The library, housed in the administrative wing, contains books and academic journals relating to medicine and its allied sciences. Its Learning Resource Center (LRC), established by the college's alumni association, has internet-enabled computers for paid use and subscribes to online medical journals

Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory (MDRL) and Animal houseEdit

A state of the art platform for motivating medical fraternity and students in multidisciplinary research activities. The center consists of Multidisciplinary research unit (MRU- ICMR), Viral research and diagnostic lab(VRDL-ICMR), Physiology research lab and multichannel data acquisition system, Lecture halls and auditorium. Zebra fish research facility has the fully automated systems, the first installation in Kerala. COVID 19 diagnostic lab is currently functioning here.



Courses offered by the college are:

  • M.B.B.S. (annual intake 250 students)
  • M.D.-M.S. (annual intake about 90 students in 23 disciplines)
  • D.M.-M.Ch. (18 seats in four and six disciplines, respectively)
  • Diploma course (71 seats in 13 specialties)
  • BSc (Hons.) in Optometry (annual intake 20 students)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (annual intake 60 students)
  • BSc (Hons.) in Nursing (annual intake 60 students)
  • BSc (Hons.) in Medical Lab Technology (annual intake 28 students)
  • BSc in Perfusion Technology (annual intake four students)
  • BSc in Cardiovascular Technology (annual intake five students)
  • BSc in Nursing (post-certificate)
  • MSc in Nursing (annual intake 28 students)
  • Master of Pharmacy (annual intake 26 students in Five branches)
  • Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (annual intake 12 students)
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics and Epidemiology (16 seats)
  • M.Phil in Clinical Epidemiology (10 seats)
  • Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (40 seats in the college)
  • Diploma in Radiological Technology (10 seats in the college)
  • Diploma in Dialysis Technology (annual intake six students)
  • Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery (annual intake 30 students)
  • Diploma in Clinical Child Development (annual intake 12 students)
  • Diploma in Pharmacy (20 seats in the college)
  • Dental Mechanics Certificate Course (annual intake six students)
  • Diploma in Operation Theatre and Anaesthesia Technology (annual intake 15 students)
  • Diploma in Endoscopy Technology (annual intake four students)
  • Diploma in Neurotechnology
  • Diploma in Optometry


  • 1905 – Ophthalmic hospital opened
  • 1950 – Medical-college foundation stone laid
  • 1951 – First batch of MBBS students admitted
  • 1952 – Opening of SAT Hospital and men's hostel
  • 1954 – Opening of 450-bed medical-college hospital
  • 1958 – Cancer wing opened
  • 1959 – Dental college opened with BDS course, first postgraduate course, nurses hostel
  • 1964 – Artificial Limb Centre opened
  • 1967 – B Pharm course, comprehensive rehabilitation research and training project began
  • 1970 – Mental and ophthalmic hospitals join the college
  • 1972 – BScN course, SCTMC, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation commissioned
  • 1973 – New nursing-college wing
  • 1975 – College of Pharmaceutical Sciences opened, foundation stone for the Regional Limb Fitting Centre laid
  • 1976 – Teacher-training programme began
  • 1978 – New Regional Limb Fitting Centre building
  • 1995 – Clinical Epidemiology Resource and Training Center
  • 1996 – Dr. C.O. Karunakaran Auditorium opened
  • 2002 – Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
  • 2010 – BSc Optometry course (India's second government optometry school)
  • 2011 – Specialty and outpatient wings
  • 2011 – MSc in Medical Laboratory Technology course, specializing in pathology, microbiology or biochemistry
  • 2012 – First cadaver organ transplant in a Kerala government hospital
  • 2013 – First test-tube baby in a South Indian government hospital
  • 2015 – Skywalk connecting new outpatient and ward wings
  • 2018 – New multispecialty block (MSB) with state of the art Trauma Care ICU, Geriatric Dept and Ward, Critical care ICU, Cardiology ICU


Nobel laureate Rolf M. Zinkernagel speaking at the 2011 Erudite Conclave

The college follows the Kerala model of health care. The state has maintained health indices at par with developed nations, well above the national averages. This has been studied by a number of agencies for use in other states of India and developing nations. During the 1950s Asian flu pandemic, it was the principal institute to isolate and research the virus.

It has ranked 21st in an India Today survey.[full citation needed] The college has a good clinical record, but has been lagged in research.

SAT Mix, developed by doctors and nutritionists at SAT Hospital, is used throughout India to manage childhood malnutrition and is a cost-effective measure to reduce infant mortality. The Thiruvananthapuram Development Chart, a scale to assess child development, was developed by the Child Development Center and is recommended for community developmental assessment. The college is one of 15 across India to be connected through the National Knowledge Commission's National Knowledge Network to integrate its knowledge base with the global scientific community.

Erudite ConclaveEdit

The college conducted an international Erudite Conclave, the region's first, in November 2011 to provide momentum to medical research. Speakers included Nobel laureate in medicine Rolf M. Zinkernagel, ophthalmologist and inventor of inexpensive intraocular lenses Sanduk Ruit, and SRISTI and founder Anil Kumar Gupta. The second conclave, in 2012, was attended by R. Basant, Padmasree Dr. G. Vijayaraghavan, S. Murti (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram), R. V. G. Menon, former Indian ambassador T. P. Sreenivasan and Sri Pooyam Tirunal Gowry Parvati Bhai, princess of Travancore.

Student life and activitiesEdit

The number of male and female students in the college is almost equal. In addition to Kerala, students from Lakshadweep, Northeast India and other parts of the country are admitted by recommendation and under the All India quota. The college hosts exchange students from the Karolinska Institute and other public-health and medical schools. Visitors have included Alexander Fleming, E. Lundsgaard, Karl Evang, Julian Huxley, Wharton Young, Jean Aicardi, David Morley and A. Lakshmana Swamy Mudaliar.

College unionEdit

The college union was dedicated in 1952 by Alexander Fleming. Since it is in the state capital, it has been politicized and depoliticized. In accordance with Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, each incoming class selects a representative to the student council (which selects the union).


Athletic Association Day and the college-union inauguration are major campus events. The college has hosted the Kerala University Youth Festival and the Intermedicos Festival several times. Medex public exhibitions were organised in 1974 (as a part of the college's silver-jubilee celebration), 2000, 2001, 2012 and 2017. Annual cultural events (organised by the classes) and sports and games competitions are held on campus. Academic programs include the Erudite Conclave and the Student Medical Research Conference. Intermedicos Genesis 14 was held at the school on 2–8 December 2014. During the annual Interbatch Euphoria, students from different classes compete in the fields of arts, cultural activities, quizzes and sports.


The medical, dental, optometry and nursing colleges organize separate graduation ceremonies. There are no separate graduation ceremonies after postgraduate courses.

Notable alumni and facultyEdit

  • C. O. Karunakaran, Special Officer and the first Principal of the Medical College. A Rockfeller Foundation Scholarship recipient, developed smallpox and rabies vaccine indigenously in the Public Health Laboratory of Thiruvananthapuram.
  • R. Kesavan Nair, Kerala's first civil surgeon and FRCS
  • M. S. Valiathan, former director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology and vice-chancellor of Manipal University in Karnataka. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Indian National Science Academy's Shree Dhanwantari Prize, the cardio-thoracic surgeon has published a number of papers on endomyocardial fibrosis.
  • Axel Höjer, the college's second dean, was a Swedish physician from the Karolinska Institute and director-general of the Swedish Medical Board. He revolutionised community medicine in Europe with education on maternal assistance, infant disease control and sexual-hygiene courses.
  • Indian volleyball player Jimmy George (1955–1987), a medical student, helped the University of Kerala win the Inter-University Championships from 1973 to 1976. George later joined the Kerala Police.
  • Dr A Marthanda Pillai, former H.O.D of the Department of Neurosurgery, recipient of Padma Shri in 2011 and Founder, Managing Director of Ananthapuri Hospitals and Research Institute.
  • M. Krishnan Nair, oncologist and founding member of the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, is the only Indian member of the World Health Organization's Advisory Committee of the Director General and Cancer Technical Group (CTG).
  • Cardio-thoracic surgeon P. K. R. Warrier established the college's department of cardio-thoracic surgery in 1964.
  • Dr V Kumara Pillai, MBBS, MRCP, FRCP was instrumental in setting up the Psychiatry Department in the college.
  • Cardiologist C. K. Gopi brought endomyocardial fibrosis to world attention.
  • Cardiologist G. Vijayaraghavan, recipient of the Padma Shri, is the founding director of the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences and popularized 2D echocardiography in India during the 1980s.[4]
  • Anatomist K. R. Pandalai was an original researcher in the field of neurosecretory cells.
  • C. R. Soman, professor in biochemistry, public-health expert and nutritionist, organized Health Action by People to study lifestyle diseases in Kerala.
  • Cardiologist K. N. Pai is a Padma Shri recipient.
  • Dr B Ekbal, former Vice Chancellor, University of Kerala (2000–2004)
  • K. Sreekumaran Nair is a recipient of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism's 1998 Stockholm Honorary Lecture and the AFCR's Henry Christian Award.[5]
  • Gastroenterology pioneer Benjamin Pulimood is the former director of Christian Medical College, Vellore, and has represented Kerala in Santosh Trophy competition.
  • Clinical oncologist R. Sankaranarayanan, is the head of screening and prevention for the International Agency for Research on Cancer and specializes in the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer.
  • Ninan T. Mathew established the Dallas Headache Clinic. He is a recipient of the Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award and the 1994 John R. Graham Distinguished Clinician Award from the American Headache Society.
  • Former lecturer K. S. Manoj was the member of the Lok Sabha from Alappuzha.
  • Former international cricket umpire K. N. Raghavan, former First Secretary of the Indian High Commission at Singapore, is a civil servant at the Indian Revenue Service.[6]
  • Former head of the college's department of obstetrics and gynecology M. Subhadra Nair received the Padma Shri in 2014.
  • Mohammed Illias Sahadulla is the founding chairman and managing director of KIMS Healthcare Management and a developer of healthcare facilities in Kerala.
  • Dr TU Sukumaran, the former president of IAP (Indian Academy of Paediatrics)
  • Dr S R Chandra, neurologist, was a former professor at National Institute of Mental Health And Neurological science (NIMHANS), Bangalore.
  • Dr Arun B Nair , author and a famous television personality, is currently a faculty in Psychiatry.
  • Neurologist Dr Doraiswami (Ram) Ayyar, professor of neurology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA
  • Associate Prof Sajeev Koshy, internationally renowned Specialist Endodontist and recipient of the Australian Honours in 2016 and former Federal Secretary of Australian and New Zealand Academy of Endodontists
  • Dr. Sheila Balakrishnan, an author of several textbooks in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is currently a faculty here

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ India, Medical Council. "College Assessment Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  2. ^ "MCH multi-specialty block readying for inaugural". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  3. ^ Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Government. "Official website". Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Padmashree Prof. Dr. G. Vijayaraghavan". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Nairs Academy of Information Research and Services". Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  6. ^ Hindu, The (3 April 2013). "Of his many hats, he removes the umpire's". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 April 2013.

External linksEdit