Hyderabad : Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI), the brainchild of disgraced founder of Satyam Computer B. Ramalinga Raju, will now be called GVK EMRI following the decision of the GVK group of industries to come to its rescue.

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EMRI, which runs the highly successful 108 ambulance service in nine states, also announced Friday the induction of three new members into its governing board.

They are: Abid Hussain, India’s former ambassador to the US; D.R. Kaarthikeyan, former CBI director and A. Ramakrishna, former deputy managing director and president of Larsen and Toubro (Engineering Construction and Contract Division).

The board already has four independent directors – Rajat Gupta, chairman of Indian School of Business; Raj Reddy of Carnegie Mellon University; Jayaprakash Narayan, president of Lok Satta and Krishnam Raju, secretary of Indo-American Cancer Society.

The decision to change the name follows the induction of G.V.K. Reddy as chairman of EMRI May 26.

GVK will be represented on the board by G.V.K. Reddy, G. Indira Krishna Reddy (vice-chairman), G.V. Sanjay Reddy and Som Bhupal.

“This reflects the commitment of GVK to ensure that the life saving emergency response service is strengthened further on all aspects including scale, speed, quality, performance and governance,” said a statement from GVK EMRI.

GVK came forward to rescue the institute by bearing 5 percent of its cost five months after a Rs.78-billion accounts fraud in Satyam led to the resignation of several eminent people from the board, including former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, who quit as chairman emeritus.

Launched by Satyam’s Raju and his family members in 2005, EMRI currently operates nearly 2,000 ambulances in nine states, serving 36.8 crore people. The service is saving an average of over 200 lives everyday.

Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have also signed an agreement with GVK EMRI to replicate a similar model of emergency response service in the states.

EMRI is a non-profit organisation in the public-private partnership model. Officials said 95 percent of the cost of EMRI is funded by the respective state governments.

It also has tie-up with over 6,800 private and government hospitals to ensure immediate patient stabilisation on admission to the hospitals.

A completely free service, anyone, anywhere in the operational states can call the toll free number 108 for any emergency (medical, police, fire) and help will reach them in an average of 15 minutes in an urban area and 20 minutes in rural areas.

Ever since Raju quit as chairman of EMRI while confessing the massive fraud in Satyam, the institute was looking for corporates and donors to replace the Raju family.

Following an appeal made by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, GVK came forward to rescue the institute.