The search for a new director for the country's premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has officially begun with the hospital recently having advertised the post. The term of the current AIIMS director, Dr RC Deka, is scheduled to end in September this year.
The invitation for application was sent out from AIIMS deputy director of administration's office on Friday through advertisement in country's leading newspapers. The last date for submission of applications is July 31, 2013.
Officials said a more detailed information will also be soon put up on the websites of AIIMS (www.aiims.edu) and ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India, (www.mohfw.nic.in).
Dr Deka took over as director in March 2009, before which he was the dean and head of the ENT department at the premier hospital.
As Indian citizens from across the globe are eligible to apply, the officials in the union health ministry involved in the selection are expecting it to be a tough task.
"Preference is usually given to somebody from the institute but if we find an excellent candidate then these things do not matter. The process has just begun and we need to wait till the last date of filing application to know who all have applied," said a senior official from the health ministry.
According to the AIIMS (Amendment) Act 2007, the retirement age of the director is fixed at 65 years or the completion of five-year term, whichever comes first. In 2007, the amendment was seen as highly controversial as the then director, Dr P Venugopal, had alleged that it was an attempt to terminate his tenure as he was above 65 years of age.
Some of the probable names for the top post include Dr MC Misra, chief, AIIMS Trauma Centre, Dr RV Azad, chief, RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, Dr VK Paul, head of the paediatrics department, and Dr YK Gupta, head of pharmacology department and AIIMS spokesperson among others.
"A lot of big names who could have been strong contenders have quit the hospital in the last few years. Everyone knows to be able to bag this coveted post, mere academic and clinical profile is not enough, one should have some political backing as well," said a senior doctor, requesting anonymity.