Sunday, February 19, 2012

Assault on Academic Autonomy at AIIMS

G. Mudur in has the scoop in The Telegraph:

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has decided to promote 39 of its faculty members after recommendations by politicians although they had been declared unfit for promotion by the institute’s standing selection committee.

This assault had bipartisan support:

.... [In] the governing body meeting on January 16, ... BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, a member of the governing body, initiated a discussion for a “solution for these unfit 39 faculty” members who have served AIIMS for a considerable period. [...]

... [G]overning body chairperson Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the Union health minister, and members Moti Lal Vora, and the director general of health services supported Swaraj and the governing body decided to “in principle” promote all 39 faculty to their respective higher grades. [Bold emphasis added]


  1. Dheeraj Sanghi said...

    Next time, the board should consider giving degrees to those students who have spent considerable amount of time in the academic program (without passing, of course), as a one-time amnesty.

    By saying that this cannot be quoted as precedent in future, one is only saying that these cases cannot be compared with any future case. But that Governing Board can do such a thing can always be quoted.

    Dangerous precedent.

  2. ajitjadhav said...

    In case they fall ill, they will visit a private hospital, of course! That is, if, for some reason, they can't visit a hospital abroad. Or, if at all forced to pick up AIIMS as their last option, they will arrange for external doctors and surgeons to come in as consultants. In any case, they know that they would never have to go under the scalpel (so to speak) of any one of these fortunate 39 (or pop in the pills prescribed by any of these 39 or anyone trained by them). Given this state of affairs, and then, especially if an appeal is made to their sense of largesses, why should they then be bothered about such trifles as principles and precedents?


  3. L said...

    The AIIMS is probably the most severely afflicted institution.
    A few years back, its graduands were not given their certificates for two years since Ramdoss could not find the time to sign them! Imagine those who had to apply to other places for their post grad. And of course the unpleasant standoff between Ramadoss and the then director. Is it because it is in Delhi, that all politicians think it is part of their 'dahej'? But it is not so bad with IITD, and many other Instts.

  4. Vijay said...

    An assault on autonomy no doubt, exacerbated by AIIMS being in Delhi and having politicians on the Governing Council. But, what is the AIIMS director doing accepting this (if indeed he has) interference? Could this be a case of getting the governing body to do what you would find difficult to do: i.e. passing the buck and saying its ‘their’ decsion? There is another side to ‘promotions’ of this kind: This is rarely a matter for interference from outside, because of the very poor internal standards for promotion in most institutions. In most places, including many elite ones, promotions simply happen. These 39 must be pretty bad to have hit the radar, or there is something else afoot