Ramadoss flip-flop; revokes AIIMS acting director’s suspension

February 28th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss
By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) In a major flip-flop, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has revoked the suspension of acting AIIMS director T.D. Dogra, whom he had himself appointed in place of P.Venugopal last year. Ramadoss had suspended Dogra, on Oct 14, 2006, when he was dean (examinations) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, for not implementing the decision of the institute’s Governing Body, the highest administrative body of the AIIMS.

Dogra had been asked to conduct the re-examination of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes final year MBBS students. The students alleged they had failed as the examination authorities discriminated against them because they were from low castes.

Dogra had approached the Delhi High Court against his suspension and got a stay order.

In a turn-around, Ramadoss, who is AIIMS president, has now ordered that Dogra’s suspension be revoked.

A Jan 8 letter, signed by the health ministry undersecretary Benoy Choudhury, merely says that the suspension order on Dogra should be revoked. No reason has been given.

The letter reads: “The undersigned is directed to convey the approval of the President of All India Institute of Medical Sciences/ honourable minister for Health and Family Welfare, revoking the order of suspension of Dr T.D. Dogra, acting director, with immediate effect.”

Health ministry sources say the minister must have realised that his appointing a suspended doctor as acting AIIMS director could snowball into a controversy.

However, the sources say that revoking Dogra’s suspension order may not serve its purpose.

According to the sources, Dogra, who was directed to implement some of the key decisions, including implementing the Thorat Committee report and appointing B.K. Dash as consultant public relations officer, is yet to execute them despite being directed to do so.

The Thorat Committee, which was set up by Ramadoss, in its report had indicted AIIMS authorities, including Venugopal, for discriminating against low caste medical students and had recommended remedial several measures.

The only decision Dogra has taken is to reinstate former registrar V.P. Gupta, who was shunted out by Venugopal. However, Gupta has not been allocated any duties yet.

Officials said AIIMS has yet to start the process to search for a new director.

AIIMS deputy director (administration) Shailash Singh Yadav said they would take at least another week to start the process.

“We have to seek guidelines from the health ministry about some matters, including how to seek nomination internationally based doctors,” he told IANS.

He said they also have to include in the guidelines the new legislation passed by parliament, which stipulates 65 years of age or a term of five years for the director.

“We have to change some of the rules and then rewrite them, before sending them to universities and colleges for their nominations for the post. It will take at least another week,” he said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sci-Tech |