New Delhi: The hunt for AIIMS director seems to be stretching longer as the Prime Minister-led panel has now expanded its search from the three candidates that were earlier shortlisted for the top job.
In a bid to appoint a new Director of the premier Institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the prime minister has sought a wider panel of names for the post.
The tenure of the incumbent AIIMS director, Dr Randeep Guleria, which was set to end on March 24, has been extended by three months.
Earlier in March, the names of three doctors, short-listed by a search-cum-selection committee and subsequently approved by the Institute Body, the top decision-making body of the AIIMS, were sent to the ACC for final approval. The three AIIMS doctors whose names were recommended earlier were Nikhil Tandon, head of the department of endocrinology; Rajesh Malhotra, chief of AIIMS Trauma Centre and the head of the department of orthopaedics; and Pramod Garg, professor in the gastroenterology department.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that in the race for the post of Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi around 32 candidates had applied. They included 13 doctors from AIIMS as well as ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava. Out of these, three names were selected, however, it seems that these are not enough for decision-making.
“…the Competent Authority in the ACC has directed to return the instant proposal with the request to send a wider panel of names for consideration of the ACC,” an official source told PTI, quoting an office memorandum sent to the Union Health Ministry by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training on June 20.
The four-member search-cum-selection committee tasked with short-listing names for the AIIMS director’s post is headed by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Apart from Bhushan, the committee includes the Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology Rajesh S Gokhale, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government K Vijay Raghavan, and Delhi University vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh.
In view of the growing suspicion over the list of shortlisted names, professor Dr A K Bishoi may be included in the final list.
“The pool of doctors for the top job is being expanded and we will finalise a name by June 24. Dr AK Bishoi’s name is also being considered to be put in the list of those shortlisted for the post,” said a senior official in the Health Ministry, reports TNIE.
According to officials, Dr Bishoi is a senior doctor who has been working with the institute for a long time and has conducted several important surgeries. Bishoi is 68th in the seniority list of the AIIMS doctors and there are senior doctors before him who have not been considered for the top job so far, including the senior-most in the hierarchy — Dr Subrata Sinha.
A senior official said that so far the shortlisted candidates for the top job have been mostly considered based on seniority and they headed at least one department in the institute.