There is another highly adored pursuit: education, in a vibrant and diverse nation like India, where cricket is a religion, spices are treasured, and chai runs as easily as discussions. But not just any education; millions of people are really fascinated by the quest of high-quality higher education. Imagine a country bursting at the seams with brilliant minds, each with aspirations as wide as the Himalayas, seeking not only information but wisdom, not only degrees but avenues to better futures.
The necessity for outstanding higher education institutions becomes critical in a nation where every nook and cranny vibrates with the clamor of dreams and aspirations. The goal is to make these goals a reality and to give the young people the information and abilities they need to face challenges as varied as the country itself. Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER) stands out as a blazing beacon in the midst of this endeavor.
Nestled in the heart of Chennai, Sri Ramachandra stands as an embodiment of excellence in higher education. Like an oasis in the desert, it quenches the thirst for quality education in the fields of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and a plethora of other disciplines. In a country where healthcare is not just a profession but a mission, Sri Ramachandra’s commitment to producing world-class doctors and healthcare professionals is nothing short of commendable.
So it Began!
Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (Deemed to be University) holds a prestigious position among India’s top health sciences universities. Its roots trace back to the establishment of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in 1985 by the Sri Ramachandra Educational and Health Trust. This institution began as a private not-for-profit self-financing endeavor. Its noble mission revolves around serving society as a Center of Excellence in Medical and Health Sciences Education, Research, and Healthcare.
In September 1994, the Government of India recognized its exceptional contributions and accorded it the status of a Deemed to be University (DU) under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956. Later, on August 8, 2018, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, officially renamed the institution as “Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research” (SRIHER) (Deemed to be University).
Over the past three decades, this institution has transformed its lush green, self-contained campus into a multidisciplinary Deemed to be University. It now comprises fourteen faculties, including Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra Faculties in Dental Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Allied Health Sciences, Management Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Technology and Research, Public Health, Sports & Exercise Sciences, Clinical Research, Speech Language and Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Engineering and Technology.
Beyond regular courses SRIHER holds a distinctive position in the academic landscape due to its pioneering introduction of novel academic programs. Many of these programs, such as B.Sc. Allied Health Sciences, Emergency and Trauma Care Management, MD Emergency Medicine, and MD Sports Sciences, have not only become established in various universities but have also placed the students in leadership positions within these fields.
In recent years, SRIHER has also initiated several innovative programs, one of which is a post-graduate program titled “Mind-Body and Lifestyle Science.” This program equips graduates with comprehensive theoretical, practical, and clinical knowledge in mind-body medicine, lifestyle modification (including diet, exercise, and yoga), stress management, resilience building, and the principles of wellness coaching. Notably, this program has received accreditation from the Certified Coaches Alliance in Vancouver, Canada.
Dr. Mahesh Vakamudi, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, highlighted the imperative demand for environmental health expertise, particularly in swiftly progressing nations like India. He emphasized the introduction of the B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Health Sciences, emphasizing that this program equips students with a robust foundational knowledge base, empowering them to take on leadership roles in the domain of environmental health sciences.
Redefining Infrastructural Brilliance
SRIHER boasts a sprawling 149.48-acre campus set amidst lush greenery in Chennai’s semi-urban region. Its academic environment features 299 digitally-enabled classrooms and an active learning center. With a bed capacity of 1,740 for clinical and teaching learning and a patient census of 11,12,018, it offers extensive resources for hands-on skill development. The campus also houses a Central Library, spanning 4,000 square meters and accommodating 650 individuals, housing a wealth of academic resources, including 326 hard copies of journals, 454 digital journal copies, and much more.
Furthermore, SRIHER is home to the Center for Toxicology and Developmental Research (CEFTE), an OECD GLP-accredited preclinical research center. This facility spans 1,588.07 square meters and operates as a registered animal research facility under the CPCSEA, Government of India. The campus includes the Central Research Facility (CRF), equipped with advanced technology, and has received grants from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under the DBT, Indian Government, to establish a BioNest incubator, fostering healthcare technology entrepreneurship. Additionally, the CRF houses a GLP-certified pre-clinical toxicology unit and an FDA-audit Clinical trial division, with infrastructure grants awarded by DST and DBT.
SRIHER’s commitment to comprehensive facilities extends to sports sciences, with advanced laboratories for Biokinetics, Biomechanics, and other disciplines. The campus also features an array of sports facilities, including football fields, basketball and volleyball courts, tennis courts, cricket grounds, a swimming pool, yoga centers, gyms, and more. Cultural and auditorium spaces accommodate various events, and the campus offers a welcoming and environmentally friendly atmosphere with ample hostel accommodations, quarters, guest houses, and a well-equipped central library with an extensive collection of volumes, theses, and journals.
Global Engagement and Educational Excellence
SRIHER’s primary goal has always been to deliver a world-class education that draws in top students from all over the world, inspires them, and keeps them there while preparing them for success in a fiercely competitive global work market. As a result of the considerable number of international students who select SRIHER as their university of choice each year, the campus stands out as one of the most cosmopolitan and culturally varied in the nation.
Furthermore, SRIHER took pride in organizing international conferences in partnership with esteemed institutions such as STIKes Dharma Husada University in Indonesia and Universitas Muhammadiya Sumatera Utara in Indonesia. These conferences focused on addressing crucial themes in health research amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, SRIHER collaborated with its Optometry and Public Health faculties in March 2022 and the ENT department in June 2022 to facilitate these significant events.
During the academic year 2021-22, SRIHER furthered its global outreach by establishing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with distinguished institutions. These partners include Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK, the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy, TZU CHI University in Taiwan, AIMST University in Malaysia, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the USA, the University of Keele in the UK, Universitas Esa Unggul in Indonesia, the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the University of Michigan Dearborn in the USA, Universitas Of Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara in Indonesia, and Colorado State University in the USA. These collaborative ventures underscore SRIHER’s steadfast commitment to fostering a global perspective in education and research.
Dr. Mahesh Vakamudi – Pro Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Mahesh Vakamudi’s remarkable career journey spans from being the top-performing student in MD Anaesthesiology at the University of Mangalore to his current role as the Pro Vice Chancellor at Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (DU). With over 30 years of teaching experience, including as the Professor and Head of Clinical Services in Anaesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine at Sri Ramachandra, Dr. Mahesh has played a pivotal role in training and supervising more than 2000 MD and 200 DM Anaesthesiology specialists practicing globally.
In addition to his teaching role, Dr. Mahesh initiated and managed the renowned National Anaesthesia CME program for postgraduates known as RACE (Ramachandra Anaesthesia Continuing Education) since 2000. His contributions extend to over 250 guest lectures at various international and national conferences, along with 50+ publications in peer-reviewed indexed journals and key contributions to prominent Anaesthesiology textbooks.
As the Head of the Department, Dr. Mahesh has overseen 35 operating locations, 6 external operating room sites, and 3 interventional catheterization laboratories (neuro and cardiac), conducting nearly 27,000 procedures annually. His leadership has led to achieving some of the lowest Anaesthesia and Operating Room complications in India and worldwide. Recognizing his accomplishments, Dr. Mahesh was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of Sri Ramachandra Hospitals in 2005.