AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria’s term extended again, search continues for new chief

As the search for a new Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) – New Delhi continues, the tenure of the current Director Dr. Randeep Guleria has been extended for another three months once again, according to an internal office memo by the Deputy Director of the Hospital (Administration).

This is the second time his term has been extended, as his original five-year term expires on March 28 this year.

“The President, AIIMS, New Delhi is pleased to extend his tenure as Director… for a period of three months or by the time a new Director is appointed, whichever is earlier,” the note read. The current extension comes as the Cabinet Appointments Committee has asked the Health Ministry to send a “wider set of names” for the position.

At least 32 senior physicians, including 12 from within the institute, have applied for the position of director of the institute. Three doctors were selected from within the institute – Director of AIIMS Trauma Center and Head of Orthopedics Dr Rajesh Malhotra, Professor of Gastroenterology and Executive Director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) Dr Pramod Garg, and Head of Department of Endocrinology Dr Nikhil Tandon.

Dr. Guleria assumed the position of Director of AIIMS- New Delhi in March 2017. A pulmonologist by training, he has remained at the head of the institute and government committees during the Covid pandemic. He is the only director to have completed a five-year term since the cap was introduced in 2007 amid a conflict between then-Minister of Health Dr Anbumani Ramados and AIIMS Director Dr P Venugopal. Others, including former Director Dr. MC Misra, retired at the age of 65 before completing the five-year term.

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