New Delhi: The country’s premier medical institute, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, got a new director today with the appointment of Dr Randeep Guleria.
Dr Guleria, who joined AIIMS as an assistant professor in 1992 and has been the HoD of the department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders since April, 2011, has taken charge of his office.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Randeep Guleria, professor and head, department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders, at AIIMS, New Delhi to the post of Director, AIIMS,” a DoPT order said.
He has been appointed for five years from the date of assumption of charge or till attaining the age of 65 until further orders, it said.
“I will strive to take AIIMS to newer heights and will work collectively, taking everybody along,” Dr Guleria said.
His predecessor Dr M C Mishra retired from the post of AIIMS director in January after serving for over three years.
Dr Guleria has worked as a personal physician to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and has also treated Union ministers like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
Guleria is the first Indian to get a Doctorate of Medicine (DM) in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
“The Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders was created under his leadership in 2011 and was ranked as the best department in pulmonary medicine in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the NIELSEN survey published in WEEK,” AIIMS said in a statement.
Guleria received ‘Padma Shri’ award in 2015 and ‘Dr BC Roy award’ in the category “Eminent Medical Person” in 2014.
This time, the appointment of the AIIMS director was mired in controversy with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking a clarification from the health ministry on the process followed in shortlisting of names for the top job.
The PMO had asked for the explanation after several senior faculty members of the medical institute approached it with a complaint that seniority has been bypassed in choosing the names for the director’s post.
Out of 53 applicants, the Institute Body, which is AIIMS’ top decision-making body headed by Union Health Minister J P Nadda, had recommended HoD of paediatrics department Dr V K Paul, HOD of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorder Dr Randeep Guleria and professor of cardiology Dr Balram Bhargava for the top job.