Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday attended the Platinum jubilee celebration of the Assam Medical College. The Assam Medical College which was incepted on November 3, 1947 is the first medical institution of the North Eastern region. To mark the 75 glorious journey of the Assam Medical College, the chief minister also released a commemorative postal stamp on the occasion. He also unveiled a souvenir to commemorate the historic occasion in the presence of hundreds of present and past alumni of the medical college. Sarma also flagged off 9 Advanced Life Support Ambulances donated by ONGC as part of its CSR initiative at a cost of Rs 4.38 crore. The chief minister also announced a grant of Rs 300 crore for the construction of doctors quarters and students hostel of the Assam Medical College.
The chief minister also paid tributes to Sir John Berry White whose efforts led to the birth of the Assam Medical College. He spoke how the Assam Medical College owes its birth to Dr John Berry White, the great visionary of modern medical education. Way back in 1858, a 24-year-old British surgeon Dr John Berry White arrived in Assam to work under the East India Company. The young surgeon served in upper Assam for 24 years and rose to the position of civil surgeon in the then undivided Lakhimpur district. In 1882 following his retirement he donated his entire life savings of rupees fifty thousand (estimated to be worth more than Rs 10 million today) for setting up a medical school in Dibrugarh. White passed away on November 19, 1896 in London and four years after his death, the Berry White Medical School was set up in Dibrugarh in 1900. Later Assam’s first chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi decided to convert the Berry White Medical School into a full fledged medical college and thus the Assam Medical College was set up in 1947 through a process of upgradation. During his speech the chief minister asked the vice chancellor of Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences who was present, to institute an annual award after Sir John Berry White and give it to the 1st MBBS position holder of the Assam Medical College.