Dr RC Deka, dean and head of the department otorhinolaryngology (ENT), took over as the new director at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today. He is 60.
Deka’s appointment came over eight months after Dr P. Venugopal retired as the director on July 2. Deka took over from acting director T.D. Dogra, head of forensic medicine, who had taken temporary charge as director after Venugopal’s retirement.
“Dr Deka has been appointed as the director of AIIMS for five years from the day he takes charge,” said Union health secretary Naresh Dayal.
“I have been waiting to be the director for the past five months. I am very happy to be here finally,” said Dr Deka, whose first decision as director was to give interviews to journalists from Assam, his home state. “All Assamese reporters can now come to my room now. The rest can go,” he said.
“Patient care, medical research and education will be my priority areas. Stem cell research would be one of the frontline areas for medical research,” he told reporters immediately after taking charge.
His first priority though, he said, is to put things in order at AIIMS. “I understand that the past few months have not been good for the institute and aim will be to bring peace and harmony back to the culture of the institute. The groups here won’t exist anymore,” he said.
The Cabinet’s Appointments Committee cleared Dr Deka’s name after months of speculation over who would be chosen to head AIIMS.
Deka has been the dean of the institute since 2006. He did his MBBS from the Guwahati Medical College in 1969, MS (ENT) from AIIMS in 1973 and joined the institute as teaching faculty in 1981.