Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS)

The First Rural Medical Institute In India

Kasturba Hospital, the only hospital started by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhiji in 1944 was entrusted to Dr. Sushila Nayar with the responsibility of organizing and running it and training village health guides to serve in rural areas. Starting with 15 beds for women and children, the hospital was initially housed in the Guest House constructed by late Shri. G. D. Birla for guests of Gandhij. In due course a training course for Auxiliary Nurse cum Midwives (ANM) was worked out and the first batch of ANM was admitted in 1945. Later on Kasturba Health Society under the presidentship of Dr. Sushila Nayar was formed and registered in 1964, which took over the administrative control of the hospital.

In mid sixties the government realizing that it was failing in providing basic health requirements of rural people, it felt that a rural oriented medical education imparted by a medical college situated in a rural setting will help the medical students to get acclimatized to rural living and identified with the rural masses. They will be better motivated and more confident to provide rural health care. With this in mind at the behest of the then Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr. Sushila Nayar, who was the then Union Minister of Health, started Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences at Sevagram in 1969 as a Gandhi Centenary Project. USAID provided Rs. 20 million for building and equipment giving a shape to the concept of Rural Medical Institute at Sevagram. A pattern of sharing of expenditure in the proportion of 50:25:25 between the Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and the Kasturba Health Society has been adopted.

MGIMS trains young doctors and nurses with a rural bias. It admits 64 students each year. While 50% of the seats are allocated to students from Maharashtra, the remaining 50% are filled by the students from the rest of India. 8 seats are specially meant for students hailing from rural areas. Postgraduate (MS/ MD/ Ph.D) courses are being provided in almost all specialties. Medical students visit the village they have adopted when they joined, once in a month and not only keep record of the health and socioeconomic conditions but also work as guides of the families to begin with and as their doctors during clinical training. Two years working in a rural hospital after graduation is an eligibility criteria for admission to PG courses.

The faculty of this Institute has been carrying out a number of research projects on community health problems with the main thrust on Tropical Diseases filariasis and tuberculosis. According to recent survey published in National Medical Journal of India on research in 135 Medical Colleges all over the country, MGIMS ranked 14 showing significant contribution to Medical Research. The rural based innovations of the Institute have become a part of Government's policy. With continuous dedication this Institute is marching ahead with its main task of providing rural health care.


Dr. B. C. Roy Award to

(Late) Dr. Sushila Nayar,

Dr. J. S. Mathur,

Dr. B. C. Harinath and

Dr. (Mrs) P. Narang

Best Health Person of the Millennium Award to (Late) Dr. Sushila Nayar

Global Safe Motherhood Award to the Dept of Community Medicine

International Gandhi Award to Dr. K. V. Desikan

Best Managed Rural Hospital in the Country Award