Karnal (Haryana): Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a medical college being set up in the memory of late Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla in her hometown Karnal, 130 km from Chandigarh.

The Rs 650 crore super specialty Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College would have a 500 bed hospital, maternity ward, emergency care, nursing college, auditorium, animal house and other facilities, Hooda said.

The state government has provided Rs 105.5 crore in the current financial year to the medical college. Spread over 43 acres, the college building and other premises are expected to be ready in 25 months. The college will offer 100 MBBS seats. Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to go into space as a NASA astronaut, died February 2003 when the Columbia space shuttle bringing her and six other astronauts back from space disintegrated on reentry into the earth's atmosphere.

She had earlier gone on another space flight aboard the same space shuttle Columbia as a mission specialist in 1997.Chawla studied at Tagore Public school in Karnal before joining the Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh for an aeronautical engineering degree. She later went to the United States for higher studies and joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


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