Those expecting fireworks at the convocation ceremony of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) went back disappointed. All went off smoothly as 750 students received their degree certificates from Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss after a nearly two-year wait.
Resident doctors had earlier threatened to boycott the ceremony if Ramadoss gave away the certificates. But AIIMS director Dr P Venugopal, the resident doctors and Ramadoss temporarily shelved their differences.
At the ceremony, Venugopal spoke about the trauma centre and cancer hospital that were recently unveiled at the institute.
Ramadoss, for his part, said an institute like AIIMS was unique. "We will be opening 6 institutes modelled on AIIMS in different parts of the country but there can be only one AIIMS," he said. The minister requested the students to "stay put in India and serve the nation". "We all look upon you (the graduates) to serve the nation as you are much needed here," he added.
The issuing of certificats comes two months after resident doctors went on a strike to protest against the delay in giving away certificates. Ramadoss had then refused to sign the certificates as they carried the signatures of Registrar Sandeep Aggarwala — whose appointment he had termed "illegal".
While 103 MBBS degrees would be awarded, 186 MD certificates were be given away at a ceremony which was chaired by Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia.