Ahmedabad University opened its School of Public Health on April 18, 2023, with a mission to improve health and the environment locally, nationally, and globally. The goals of the School are to train leaders who can develop wholistic solutions to interdisciplinary problems pertinent to the 21st century, and to educate and inspire individuals, communities, and organisations. Kaumudi Joshipura, Doctor of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard University, USA, has been named the Dean of the School. She also holds the Susmita and Subroto Bagchi Professorship in Public Health endowed by Susmita Bagchi, Odia writer and Chairperson, MoSchool, and Subroto Bagchi, Co-Founder of Mindtree, and Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority.
The long-term goals are to develop a comprehensive globally impactful School of Public Health. The initial education focus is planned in Environmental Health and Analytical Sciences including Data Science, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and executive education. The School will offer an unprecedented opportunity for strong interdisciplinary collaborative education, research, and implementation, with a driving goal of addressing complex, at-scale societal challenges.
Pankaj Chandra, Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University, said, “The School of Public Health will foster better health through education and research. The Susmita and Subroto Bagchi Chair Professorship supports our interdisciplinary perspective around problem-solving and is a significant step towards attracting the best minds of the world to our School of Public Health. Through the School, we will seed teaching and research in one of the most critical areas of our times. We will establish a research programme around data and evidence in public health. Professor Joshipura has a vision and a strategic plan to build the School of Public Health at Ahmedabad University.”
Sharing her vision for the School, Professor Kaumudi Joshipura, Dean, School of Public Health, said, “Public Health faces multiple pressing challenges globally, with low public awareness and low prioritisation of resources. India has made great strides in recent decades, but still needs more well-trained professionals who can conduct high-quality research and solve complex problems. The School of Public Health will build on Ahmedabad University’s overall vision and interdisciplinary programmes, and focus on improving human and planetary health through multiple creative initiatives integrating research, education, and health promotion.”
Mr Subroto Bagchi, Co-Founder of Mindtree, and Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority, said, “Institution building is not an easy thing. Ahmedabad University has the spirit of a startup, and it is a most unusual spirit to have. The University has taken on a complex issue with the School of Public Health, but it will go a long way. The difficulties that came up in Covid 19 gave us an opportunity to understand that studies at Ahmedabad University will provide us with multidisciplinary solutions to these challenges.“
Mr Sanjay Lalbhai, Chancellor, Ahmedabad University, said, “When you compare the 1.2 billion people that India has and the outlay we are spending on health, you realise how insufficient it is. The Government is doing a lot but pushing all the problems there will not help. Private institutions need to come in to make a huge difference. We are aware that the challenges are immense. How do you deliver healthcare effectively to a large population using newer technologies? With the School of Public Health, we are going to create solutions.”