PGI director Yogesh Chawla’s tenure ends today, dean to take over for now

Many say the institute “progressed” well during his tenure, the PGI faculty association, however said he “couldn’t do much” for the institute

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:October 6, 2016 6:10 am
yogesh-759 Yogesh Chawla.

AS THE tenure of PGI director Professor Yogesh Chawla ends on Thursday, the response from faculty members, employees associations and heads of departments (HoDs) about the institute’s performance during his five-year tenure is mixed.

Many say the institute “progressed” well during his tenure. The PGI faculty association, however said he “couldn’t do much” for the institute.

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Jasveer Singh, general secretary, PGI employees union, said Chawla played a key role in improving patient care at the institute. “Under his control, the institute achieved new heights. PGI bagged two national awards and the credit goes to him,” he said. Singh, however, added that issues of employees, faculty and nurses were not resolved as per expectations.

Dr K Gauba, head, department of oral health sciences, also said that during Chawla’s tenure, the institute progressed well. “He did a good job. He introduced patient-friendly initiatives and the PGI got national awards during his tenure,” he said.

Another head of department who is closely associated with the administration, however, said Chawla couldn’t do more because he lacked administrative experience. “His advisers were not good and as a result, he faced controversies,” he said.

Chawla joined as institute director in October 2011. There have been several controversies during his tenure at PGI. From a strike by resident doctors to the ministry raising the issue of Chawla not informing the health minister that his daughter and son-in-law were appearing in the interview of PGI’s faculty posts, many other issues put him in a tight spot. After Thursday, he will go back to the department of hepatology.

According to some HoDs his intervention in the research, patient care, organ transplantation and other areas “took the institute to a new level.” The PGI’s faculty association, however, believes that the director’s performance was not impressive. “We had no good experience working with him. We believe that he has not been a good administrator during his tenure. He had no vision what to do for the improvement of the Institute. The resident doctors, faculty association went on a strike and it was the director who was responsible for the lapses,” said president of PGI Faculty Association, Dr T D Yadav. “I don’t think he has done something extraordinary during his tenure.”

On Thursday, as the tenure of Chawla would come to an end, dean of the Institute, Dr Subhash Verma, has been asked the union health ministry to take over as PGI director until the new director is selected. The Union Health Ministry recently constituted a three-member selection committee to begin the process of appointing a new director for the institute.