R.C. Deka named AIIMS director (Second Lead)

March 10th, 2009 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Ramesh Chandra Deka, dean of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Tuesday took over as the director of the country’s premier referral institution.
Deka, 60, also head of the otorhinolaryngology or ENT department since 1995, was appointed director for five years.

“The orders for Deka’s appointment have been issued. He will be taking charge with immediate effect,” a health ministry official said.

“I am taking charge as the director with immediate effect,” Deka told IANS soon after his appointment.

“Patient care, medical research and education will be my priority areas. Stem cell research would be one of the frontline areas for medical research,” Deka told reporters here at his first press conference after taking charge.

“We have a brilliant faculty, nursing staff and paramedical staff. We have to bring people together to improve the image of the institution which is known for its excellence,” Deka added.

The AIIMS director’s tenure is for a period of five years or up to the age of 65, whichever is earlier.

After months of speculation over who would be the next AIIMS director, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared Deka’s name Tuesday.

Asked about the death of a student after ragging at a medical college in Himachal Pradesh, he said: “It is a very unfortunate incident. I will not let anything like that happen in AIIMS.”

Deka has served as the dean of the institute since 2006. Hailing from Assam, he did his MBBS from the Guwahati Medical College in 1969, MS (ENT) from AIIMS in 1973 and joined the institute’s faculty in 1981.

According to doctors at AIIMS, his long stint and his work as dean in the institute went in his favour in his selection.

He has undergone training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and at the Yale University Medical Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1996, he went to Australia for training in cochlear implant surgery at the Melbourne University and the Bionic Ear Institute in Melbourne. An accomplished ENT surgeon and a reputed teacher, he has performed over 200 cochlear implant surgeries, including 160 on children.

T.D. Dogra was serving as acting director since the controversial previous director, P. Venugopal, retired in July last year.

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