1. I am pleased to be among you in this land of valour that is Rajasthan. Today’s occasion, the convocation ceremony, marks the completion of one stage of life for students, and the beginning of another. I congratulate all graduates and post-graduates on their achievement. It is certainly a proud moment not only for you but also for your parents who have helped you reach this stage. I am sure you are as much grateful to your parents as towards the teachers and society at large that made it possible for you to learn here.

  1. At a place like this, two most important areas of development come together: health and education. Our nation has made great strides in many spheres including healthcare. But we need to do more to ensure that quality healthcare and education is accessibleOur nation has made great strides in many spheres including healthcare. But we need to do more to ensure that quality healthcare and education is accessible to all citizens specially those living in the rural areas and remote parts of the country. The AIIMS in Delhi, as you all know, has been the preferred destination for people from faraway places for expert care. To make reliable healthcare available in more regions, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, established new AIIMS under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). This institute here at Jodhpur is one of them.

  1. AIIMS Jodhpur was set up with the mission to provide to people of this region healthcare facilities and medical education at par with the best of the nation. I am pleased to know that in a short span of seven years, it has excelled in the field of medical education and become a top choice of the students, after AIIMS Delhi. This shows the hard work being done by the faculty and students. I am sure you will continue to strive to take this institution to greater heights.

  1. I learn that AIIMS Jodhpur is also fulfilling its role as a state-of-art research centre. It is heartening to know that the institute not only supports research through its intramural grants but also has funding from both international and national agencies. The establishment of various specialised centres and labs shows the commitment of the institution towards strengthening research. At the same time, the institute is also working on the local healthcare matters of this region.

  1. There is also a need to develop low-cost diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services. I am told that this institute is setting up an Innovation Centre for Medical Technology along with IIT Jodhpur. The two are also collaborating for an AIIMS-IIT Knowledge Innovation Cluster. This is a welcome step as this will boost the medical technology sector in the country. It is important that India starts making its own equipment that not only serves to provide affordable healthcare but also sets up India as a medical technology hub as part of the Make in India initiative. Only a few cities in the country are blessed with an AIIMS as well as an IIT, and this great city of Jodhpur is among them. I urge these institutes here to continue working together for betterment of people in this area and the country.

  1. The AIIMS Jodhpur also strives to improve the health of tribal people in this part of Rajasthan with the help of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. This endeavour is also a part of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. Such worthy initiatives are expected from institutions like AIIMS. They not only have to provide therapeutic services but also need to give preventive care for betterment of society. As an Institute of National Importance, AIIMS Jodhpur has a critical role in implementing the health programmes of the government and train manpower in this region.

  1. The institutions like AIIMS are being developed to provide tertiary care to the poorest of the poor. It is heartening to know that AIIMS Jodhpur has provided consultation to over 24 lakh patients till date. Its database will help address the health concerns of the region and also in formulating health policies. The institute has also started robotic surgery to provide ultra-modern surgical care at affordable cost.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. India is known as the land of Charak and Shushrut. The research community around the world is taking note of India’s traditional systems of medicine. The government has also focused on extending the reach of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, as well as Homeopathy; known together as ‘AYUSH’. I am pleased to learn that AIIMS Jodhpur has started providing AYUSH services too. It can now complement this move by taking up research in these systems. That will bring together both traditional and modern care under one roof.

  1. At this point I would like to share some thoughts with the students who are graduating today. You are now doctors or nurses. In any community in the world, a doctor or a nurse gets extra respect. In our country, they are considered next only to gods. This is because you have now gathered the knowledge and skills that can save lives. You provide care, you heal wounds. In today’s world full of distress, you embody an extraordinary virtue: ‘karuna’, that is, compassion.

  1. Now, some of you will start private practice, or serve in a hospital. Some will pursue higher studies and some will teach in medical institutions. No matter which path you take, I urge you to remain full of empathy, and never let an opportunity pass to save or improve lives using your skills and knowledge. Always try to maintain highest level of ethical standards and professionalism for the entire career. All doctors and nursing graduates will do well to remember that the community around them looks up to them, and they will have to maintain the nobility of the profession.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. I once again congratulate the students and their parents on this momentous day and wish them all the success in their lives. I appreciate the contribution of the faculty of AIIMS Jodhpur. You have been doing a great service to the nation and I am sure will continue to do so. My best wishes to AIIMS Jodhpur in all its endeavours ahead.