The highest decision-making body of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has recommended to the Centre that the age of retirement for doctors at the institute, currently 65 years, be raised to 67 years. This follows an announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about raising the retirement age of government doctors to 65 years. The retirement age of AIIMS doctors has always been two years more than their counterparts in other government hospitals.
The proposal to raise the retirement age was passed by both the AIIMS Governing Body and the Institute Body — the institute’s highest decision-making body — in their meetings Saturday. The proposal will now have to be passed by the Union cabinet for it to come into effect.
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Usually, such proposals are evaluated by the Department of Personnel and Training and the Finance Ministry, before they are brought before the cabinet. While AIIMS is the first institute where the change is likely to come into effect, the revised retirement age will be extended to similar institutes including PGI, Chandigarh, said sources in the Health Ministry.
“It has always been the practice that AIIMS doctors retire two years after doctors in other government hospitals. After the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, the retirement age in Central Health Services was raised to 65 years. This is the next logical step and will be extended eventually to all such institutes,” said an official.
The proposal, if passed by the cabinet immediately, will mean two-year extensions for two heads of departments at the institute who are due to retire soon, said sources. However, it may not automatically help director Dr M C Mishra, who is due to retire next year. That will require a change in regulations, though Mishra may continue as a professor of the institute, said sources.
A similar change was recently implemented in PGI, Chandigarh, to give its director a two-year extension, added sources.
“There was a lot of hue and cry recently when Dr G K Rath was given an extension. That is a situation the government is keen to avoid… A change in regulation, for this to be applicable to the post of director, is required because when a professor holds that post, he does not hold a lien on the institute any more,” said a source.
The revised retirement age would mean that the government can appoint Dr Mishra as the head of the AIIMS Trauma Centre, a post he had held for a long time before becoming the director of the institute.
According to sources, there were some suggestions that the retirement age of AIIMS doctors be revised to 70, but they were dismissed. Both the AIIMS Governing Body and the Institute Body have, among its members, the Union health minister, the health secretary, the director general of health services, the vice chancellor of Delhi University, some MPs and representatives of various other organisations.