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Dr. T.S Kanaka: Asia’s first woman neurosurgeon recalls her journey to the top

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

An exemplary woman of India, the 79 year-old Dr. T.S Kanaka has achieved many rare feats in her life. An expert in brain stimulation, she has spent her life in struggles and successfully emerged as Asia’s first female neurosurgeon.

Her journey to the top has been extremely challenging and difficult, she says as she recalls the days of her under-graduation and post-graduation.

“Women were never admitted to master’s programme in general surgery. Two other women had been admitted to the M.S. general surgery simply because they had won the Johnson Medal (the highest recognition for a student at Madras Medical College). While one went on to become an anatomy professor, the other never practised. When I applied for the MS programme, I was told I would never be accepted,” she recalls.

Not just getting admission, but also completing her MS in surgery was difficult. She was the only woman in eight students and women weren’t even allowed to hold a knife, let alone perform surgeries. Crossing many hurdles, she finally passed her final exams and earned her MS in surgery degree.

“As it is, passing the M.S. degree examination is difficult, even without discrimination. Every time I took the final exam, the external examiner from Bombay failed me. It was only in the sixth attempt that I finally qualified,” she recalls.

A chance to show her skills came to her when the surgeon she was assisting had to leave for training and she was asked to take his place. Since then, she worked hard and honed her skills under the tutelage of Dr. B. Ramamurthy.

Even after that, she faced a lot of struggles as her academic research papers were continuously scrutinized by her US counterparts.

A life completely devoted to medicine, she implores scientists to develop brain stimulation kits for stereotaxic surgeries locally, in her lecture tours, so that treatments are made cost effective, which Dr. Kanaka was a staunch advocate of. “My job is not done until India develops its own kit for cost-effective treatment,” she says.

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Big reforms Led to India becoming the fastest growing major Economy globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai.
The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs more reforms.
Indian economy needs more reforms.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise.
Indian economy should be on rise. Image: Mapsofindia

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS

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