Meeting to explore and discuss possible collaboration between University of South Australia and Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University)

Introductory meet with Dr Adrian Vicary

President, Australia India Business Council, South Australia Chapter

University Fellow, Adjunct Associate Professor,

Division of Education, Arts and Social Science

University of South Australia


Date: 18th August 2016


Time: 2.45 pm to 4.45 pm


Venue: Medical Council Cell - Dean Office

              ACS Medical College and Hospital (ACS MC&H)


Minutes issued by: Dr. Hepsibah Francis, 26th August 2016  




o   Welcome 

o   Round of Introduction

o   Dr Adrian Vicary,  introducing the Australia India Business Council, South Australia Chapter and University of South Australia 

o   Introduction of Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University)

o   Report on Community Medicine

o   Report on Public Health Dentistry

o   Any Other Business

o   Discussion


1.      Welcome and apologies


The members present were Dr.A.Shaw Nawaz - Medical Director, ACS MC&H, Dr.Pragna B.Dolia - Dean Medical College, Dr.Christina Mary P.Paul - Associate Professor of Community Medicine, Dr. S. Samuel Raj - Senior Lecturer Public Health Dentistry, Dr.Shyamala Mani - Director Nursing, Prof. V.M.Hema - Principal Faculty of Nursing,

Dr. Senthilnathan – Principal College of Physiotherapy, Dr.Rama Vaidyanathan - Director, Dr.APJ Research Centre, Dr.N.Sreevidya - Senior Research Scientist and Dr.Hepsibah Francis - Research Scientist.




2.      Round of Introduction


The meeting was attended by 10 delegates (Appendix 1) representing the Medical College and Hospital, Dental College, Facility of Nursing, College of Physiotherapy and Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre Of Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

3.      Dr Adrian Vicary – Introductory talk


Dr Adrian Vicary gave a brief introduction of his office and realm of involvement.


a)     Australia India Business Council, South Australia Chapter


As the pre-eminent business council in Australia, the AIBC is an innovative business advocacy organisation whose purpose is to promote bilateral trade and expand Australia-India commercial ties. AIBC provides its members with a forum to provide input into the policy and agenda for both countries, exchange business ideas, and provide networking opportunities through interaction across government and business groups. The AIBC maintains close relationships with federal and state government agencies, the diplomatic corps and industry bodies, and showcases opportunities to the Australian business community through an active program of events nationally.


b)     University of South Australia (UniSA)

UniSA is Australia’s university of enterprise and is a globally-focused, locally-engaged institution established on the dual principles of equity and excellence. With more than 32,000 students, the university is South Australia’s largest and was ranked 25th in the QS World University Rankings for institutions under 50 years old in 2015. University of South Australia is the first University in Australia’s to recognise reconciliation. UniSA offers degree programs across a wide range of subjects including business, laweducation, arts and social scienceshealth sciencesinformation technology, engineering and the environment.

4.       Introducing Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University)

Dr.Rama Vaidyanathan introduced Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University) to the delegate and to the members present.

Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University) aims to bring about change and progress through education, the Tmt.Kannammal Educational Trust was constituted in 1985 and started Thai Moogambigai Polytechnic College. Within three years of its inception, Dr. M.G.R. Engineering College was founded in 1988, and the Thai Moogambigai Dental College was started in the year 1991. Both the colleges acquired Deemed University status in 2003 as Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute as per the orders of the University Grants Commission, New Delhi and the Union Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India, New Delhi. The University offers degree programs across a wide range of subjects such as Engineering & Technology, Dental Surgery, Humanities & Sciences, Architecture, Management Studies, Computer Applications, Social Justice and Empowerment Medical and Allied Health Sciences including Nursing and Physiotherapy .

5.      Report on Community Medicine


Community Medicine envision a community of doctors who are dedicated to leadership in compassionate and high quality service, working towards building a healthy population. The Mission is to serve the urban and rural communities belonging to our field practice area. Educate and train the medical students of our college in the essentials of Community Medicine and Provide leadership in Community engaged translational research and scholarship.


a)     Community Health Centres


  1. There are three centres , two Rural and one Urban attached to the department of Community Medicine, under the direct supervision of the dean.
  2. The two Rural centres are located  at Nazarethpet ( 9 Kms distance )and  Parivakkam ( 7 Kms Distance)
  3. The Urban centre is located at Adayalampattu (6 Kms Distance)


b)     The Services


Community Health Camps

      OPD (Out Patient Department) Services : Morning OPD functions from 9 a.m to 1 p.m, provision of essential drugs free of cost, appropriate investigations  treatment for common diseases and injuries

      IP (In Patient) Services: Detention wards are present where the patients are kept for observation and management (IV fluids for ADD and oxygen for bronchial asthma).

      Antenatal Services: Confirmation of pregnancy by urine pregnancy test , registration of the person , investigations like Hb, HIV, HbsAg, blood sugar estimation, urine sugar and albumin and blood pressure measurement, ante-natal examinations

      Immunization services:

Independently as well in collaboration with the govt health care facilities

      Water Sanitation Surveys

water samples are collected from various sources and sent for testing for bacteriological indices and appropriate management is done (chlorination and washing of tanks etc)

      Family Planning Services

family health surveys are done to identify the eligible couples and free distribution of condoms are done, counseling and health education on small family norms are done

      School Health Services  

permission has been obtained from government officials to provide school health services, routine comprehensive health examinations are conducted in schools along with referral and follow- up services

Environmental Sanitation Services

      general hygiene monitoring, health education, identification and control of mosquito and fly breeding sites.


c)      Implementation of National Health Programmes


      Ari Control Programme: health education, cotrimoxazole tablets and referral in case of need

      Add Control Programme: health education, distribution of ORS packets, IV fluids in case of severe dehydration etc

      National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme: Health education, control of breeding sites, malaria testing, dengue testing, treatment of malaria, referral and follow – up services

      National Aids Control Programme: Health education, counseling and testing, distribution of condoms, referral and follow – up

      Anaemia Control Programme: Health education,   Hb testing, health education, distribution of Iron and folic acid and de- worming, referral and follow – up services

      Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme: sputum microscopy (collaboration with the microbiology department), provision of DOTS – All the three centres are Government approved DOTS providers

      National Programme For Prevention And Control Of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases And Stroke: Health education, blood and urine sugar monitoring, BP Measurement, ECG recording, free treatment for diabetes and hypertension, screening for common cancers, referral and follow – up

      Universal Immunization Programme: All vaccines are available at the centre on Wednesdays, immunization surveys are done in collaboration with the Govt. functionaries to identify and vaccinate missed cases


d)     Research  Activities


      It is an essential  part of the Interns training programme and interns are made to complete research projects before completion of their tenure in the department

      The essence of Community Medicine is to make a community diagnosis which is finding the felt needs of the community effectively and providing community treatment

      To make community diagnosis of the field practice areas, there is continuous scrutiny of various public health problems in the form of surveys


Further details of this can be found in


6.      Report on Public Health Dentistry: Outreaching the needy


The Vision is to strive for excellence in dental education, practice, community service and research and adopt ethical principles in all aspects of Community Oral Health activities and while carrying out epidemiological researches. Be humble promote teamwork approach and reach the unreachable with awareness, education & Service through Dentistry on wheels. To train general, Specialized & Allied professional personnel to meet the needs of regional & national oral health care services.

The goals of the service are to blend modernity and tradition, the department has a goal of producing graduates who are knowledgeable, principled, ethical and disciplined. To produce a graduate asset who has the potential to make valuable contributions, apply the knowledge they have received and contribute to promoting oral health of their communities and preventing disease.

Well-equipped dental chairs for treating the underprivileged population

a)     Internship Details


Each intern is posted for 3 months in the department and has to complete the following projects:

  • Community health monitoring programmes including preventive, diagnostic and corrective procedures.
  • To create educational awareness about dental hygiene and diseases among school children and adults.
  • Lectures to create awareness about harmful effects of tobacco consumption.
  • Participate in dental outreach programmes conducted by the department.
  • Research 


b)     Satellite Centre posting


They are posted on rotation basis in the 2 satellite centers of the department.

Adayalampattu – Monday to Friday

Parivakkam - Thursday


c)      Museum posting


They are also posted in the oral health museum to impart health education to the patients and their attenders.

They provide habit cessation advice create awareness about common dental problems, treatments, myths and facts.

A state of art museum with innovative working models for educating the public on dental health aspects.

Department Museum

d)     Diet Counseling


Students are taught to provide diet counseling to their patients.

They will counsel the patients on:

      Balanced diet

      Vitamins and Oral Health

      Diet and Dental caries

      The Food pyramid


e)     World ‘No Tobacco’ Day


The Department observes World No Tobacco Day on 31st May every year. Various anti-tobacco activities were performed on this day. The activities are coordinated with IDA and Govt. of Tamil Nadu



f)       Blood Donation Programs


Department of Public Health Dentistry in association with Lions Blood Bank conducts blood donation camp every year in the month of March as a part of Dentist Day celebration. There will be enthusiastic participation from both the staff and students. Donors will be acknowledged with a certificate of appreciation and a donor ID card.


g)     School Health Programs


  • It is well recognized that children of today are citizens of tomorrow, hence the school health programme is a powerful yet economical approach towards raising the level of community health. 
  • With this in mind the Department has been providing dental health education and conducting screening programme for the school children.
  •  Free toothbrushes, tooth pastes and pamphlets are distributed.
  • For those patients requiring treatment, referral cards were given and were referred Thai moogambigai Dental College and Hospital and comprehensive dental care was provided.
  • The Department also provides transportation services to necessary school children.


h)     Youth Health Mela


The Department of Public Health Dentistry in association with IDA and Adyar Cancer institute conducted Youth Health Mela public Expo. The objectives was to create awareness among the Youth in maintaining vibrant health through diet, nutrition, exercise, and fitness and prevent the youth from resorting to smoking, chewing of tobacco and unhealthy practices.


i)       NSS (National Service Scheme)


To give an extension dimension to the higher education system and orient the student youth to community service while they are studying in educational institution, the Dept. is involving them in NSS Activities. The Aims was to

o   Understand themselves in relation to their community;

o   Identify the needs and problems of the community and involve them in problem solving process.

o   Develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility;

o   Utilize their knowledge in finding practical solution to individual and community problems.

o   Gain skills in mobilizing community participation.

o   Acquire leadership qualities and democratic attitude.

o   Develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters Practice national integration and social harmony.


Further details of this can be found in





7.      Any Other Business


Dr Adrian Vicary informed about certain collaborative projects undertaken by the Australian and Indian Institutions, such as the following:   


o   Deakin Teri University


Deakin Teri University that the degree programs are jointly offered by Deakin University, Australia and TERI University, India. Within the overarching area of sustainable development, the PhD programme particularly promotes doctoral research on thematic areas relating to Renewable Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Science and Governance, Nano-biotechnology and Sustainable Architecture. Students also have access to the facilities and services of both TERI and Deakin University.


o   Colombo plan


The Colombo Plan was established on 1 July 1951 by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom and currently has expanded to include 26 member countries including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The Colombo Plan is a partnership concept of self-help and mutual-help in development aimed at socio-economic progress of its member countries.

The Colombo Plan has 4 permanent programmes:

  • Drug Advisory Programme (DAP)
  • Programme for Public Administration & Environment (PPA & ENV)
  • Programme for Private Sector Development (PPSD)
  • Long-Term Scholarships Programme (LTSP)

Further details of this can be found in


o   Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)


The Cooperative Research Centres Association is a not-for-profit organisation operating to promote the pursuit of science, particularly through the Australian Government’s CRC Programme as along with Universities outside Australia.


8.      Discussion

Dr Adrian Vicary answered to the questions asked by the members present.


A member was interested to know about the Ethics in Australia.   

o   Ethics

The researchers are required to abide by the professional principals. The Australian Code of Ethics is the core document which guides and informs the ethical practises.  The students’ projects are to be cleared at the University level ethical committee. Minor student research projects need to get ethical clearance from the respective school.   


Another staff member enquired on the duration and extent of student exchange program. 

o   Student exchange programs

Students exchange programs happen during the course of study it may of two months for UG programs and 6 months for PG programs.


Another member asked about the difference between the community services that is seen in India and Australia     

o   Extent of Community Service

Australian Universities take community services to wider, as along Industry partnerships are also established.


9.      The closure 


o   Visit to the Medical College and University Campus


At the closure of the meet, Dr Adrian Vicary visited the ACS Medical College & Hospital campus and appreciated the conventional centre, hospital premises, student hostel, especially acknowledging the temple at the entrance. Followed by, he met and expressed his wishes to the Management of Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute (University). President of the University Er.A.C.S. Arunkumar and the Secretary -ACS Medical College & Hospital - Mr. A. Ravi Kumar presented University memento and garlanded Dr Adrian Vicary with traditional silk shawls. The Rector Dr. G. Gopalakrishnan appreciated Dr Adrian Vicary’s visit to the University and reflected on the past collaboration of Dr.MGR Educational and Research Institute with the University of South Australia, wherein 6 Biotechnology students went to UniSA for a student exchange program. They also encouraged for possible collaboration as Universities together in the near future.