With the search for a new director for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-New Delhi still ongoing, the term of the present director Dr Randeep Guleria has been extended for another three months again, according to an internal office memorandum by the hospital’s deputy director (administration).
This is the second time his tenure has been extended, with his original five-year term ending on March 28 this year.
“The president, AIIMS, New Delhi is pleased to further extend his tenure as director… by three months or by the time a new director is appointed, whichever is earlier,” the memorandum said. The current extension comes as the appointments committee of the cabinet asked the health ministry to send “a wider panel of names” for the position.
At least 32 senior doctors, including 12 from within the institute, had applied for the post of AIIMS director. Three doctors from within the institute were shortlisted – director of AIIMS trauma centre and head of the department of orthopaedics Dr Rajesh Malhotra, professor of gastroenterology and executive director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) Dr Pramod Garg, and head of the department of endocrinology Dr Nikhil Tandon.
Dr Guleria took over as director of AIIMS-New Delhi in March 2017. A pulmonologist by training, he remained at the helm of the institute and government committees through the Covid pandemic. He is the only director to have completed the five-year term since the limit was introduced in 2007 amidst a tussle between the then health minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss and the AIIMS director Dr P Venugopal. Others, including the previous director Dr MC Misra, retired at the age of 65 years before completing the five-year term.