This is what happens when the politicians are allowed access and authority over the Institutions of higher Education!! This SOB of a guy has been throwing his weight around just out of his ego!! I am not sure if in this war of words and egos – how is the AIIMS Director placed.. or what kind of the guy he is.. but one thing is sure.. it takes heck of a lot of courage to fight the Minister in India… and this guy is doing it. All one can say is that implicitly proves his strength. Otherwise no conniving educational professional will try to roughen up feathers of a politician!
I feel constitutionally we should prohibit access of political class from interfering with the Higher Education. They should only be allowed to touch the Basic and Primary Education.. so they make sure that we have adequate Schools for everyone!!
On Saturday, Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss tried to foist his appointee as acting director but the AIIMS administration was quick to scuttle the attempt.
Citing rulebooks, it stated that in the director’s absence, the senior-most professor gets the top job. So, Venugopal’s appointee, T.D. Dogra (head of forensic medicine), stays.
This, however, has done little to clear the great deal of confusion on who the current acting director is, thanks to the game of one-upmanship being played out at the institute.
The health minister issued a handwritten letter appointing R.C. Deka as acting director, overriding the Venugopal’s order, appointing Dogra.
With both men trying to place their aides as acting director, the showdown is likely to continue. Venugopal, on leave, is set to return on June 23.
"Dogra is the senior-most and therefore, he stays as the acting director. But the director will return in six days, why is the minister is such a hurry to prove a point," asked a senior faculty member.
Meanwhile, sources said director Venugopal has made it clear that "if were to quit, he would go down fighting". The director is said to have categorically denied the likelihood of him resigning under pressure from the ministry.
Following the row, a lot of dirty linen is being washed in public. The latest instalment is that the Ramadoss went on a binge, spending close to Rs 2.5 lakh in six days from the institute’s coffers during his stay at AIIMS. Ramadoss had stayed at the AIIMS guesthouse for more than nine months in 2004, before moving into a government accommodation. According to sources, during those nine months, his daily expenses ranged from Rs 25,000- Rs 30,000.
Ramadoss clarified that he was saving the government’s money by staying at AIIMS instead of a hotel. "I was entitled to stay at any hotel but I opted to stay at AIIMS because as the president of the institute, I am entitled to it. I occupied two rooms there while I waited for a house to be allotted to me. During my stay, I paid for my grocery, water and electricity bills. And as far as the fixtures are concerned, they are still at AIIMS, I did not take them with me," said the health minister.
However, after the minister left, his officer on special duty (OSD) stayed back for eight more months. According to the AIIMS administration, only faculty members are allowed to stay in the guesthouse.
"The OSD moved out just four days ago. The minister has left one man in the institute since taking charge as the health minister," said a source.
Venugopal’s camp maintains that the amount spent during those nine months would have run into crores and these six days – during which Rs 2,32,000 were spent on hospitality – are evidence enough.
The director’s camp further alleged that the health minister’s decision to treat patients during last month’s strike was a gimmick. “He is not even registered with the Delhi Medical Council. This was quackery,” a Venugopal aide alleged.
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