On two separate occasions in the recent past, government officials have vehemently assured that AIIMS is being set up in Thoppur, Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

As per PTI Reports, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai has said that he is confident that work will commence soon. He was responding to a question related to an RTI response. The other instance is when Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan said to the press in a Gandhi Jayanti press conference that the state (Tamilnadu) will definitely get an AIIMS.

Former chief minister of the state, Jayalalitha had proposed that an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) be set up in TN. The proposal was approved and a team undertook the task of selecting appropriate location for it.

5 Districts including Madurai, Erode, Pudukottai districts were considered. Ultimately the decision was narrowed down to Thoppur for multiple reasons.

The zeroed down location at Thoppur has 4-lane connectivity with national highway, it also has a 20 MVA power supply, necessary water connection. Once the location was finalized, transfer of land was the key task.

As per sources quoted by newspapers, it was this task that took up most time, and now work shall swiftly begin on AIIMS Thoppur, Madurai, leading up to the foundation of first AIIMS in Tamilnadu.

The hospital shall have 750 beds, and the college will have 100 MBBS seats and 60 nursing seats. An amount of Rs 1500 crores has been earmarked for the project.

AIIMS Hospital campus shall be spread over an area of 200 acres.

Neighboring states Puducherry, Kerala, and Karnataka also do not have any AIIMS like institution yet. Though Puducherry is acclaimed for JIPMER which is an esteemed institution in itself.

Andhra Pradesh got its first AIIMS this year. AIIMS Mangalagiri started admissions in 2018-19, its classes are being held in Siddhartha Medical College. Students are using labs of SMC and using Government General Hospital Vijaywada for teaching. Its residential complex and OPD shall be complete by March 2019.

As regards AIIMS in Kerala, conflicting statements have been released in the press. Whereas in June it was said that AIIMS will be set up in Kerala, probably Thiruvananthapuram, in August Union Health Minister J P Nadda answered a question in Lok Sabha by saying that there was no plan on setting up AIIMS like institution in Kerala.

Three year old news reports show that AIIMS is proposed in Bangalore, Karnataka. However there is no solid progress report on it to go on. Last report stated that Gulbarga ESIC Hospital will be considered for AIIMS.

By 2012, there were 7 AIIMS in India including New Delhi, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur, Rishikesh. Thereafter phase IV of AIIMS setting up included AIIMS at Mangalagiri, Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kalyani. Now AIIMS Mangalagiri, Nagpur are operational.

It is also proposed that AIIMS Kalyani will start working from September 2020, and AIIMS Gorakhpur may start from March 2019.

AIIMS conduct its separate entrance exam for admission to MBBS programs whereas all medical colleges in India have to accept scores and rank of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test NEET 2019.

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