Talwar to be new PGI Director
New Delhi, February 9
A decision to this effect was taken here at a meeting of the selection committee chaired by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ms Sushma Swaraj.
Sources in the Health Ministry confirmed this evening that Dr Talwar’s name had been unanimously cleared by the committee.
Dr Talwar will succeed Professor S.K. Sharma, Head of the Department of Urology who is due to retire in March end.
In an exclusive interview to The Tribune, Dr Talwar said going to Chandigarh was like a “homecoming”. “I’m quite familiar with the institute. I received my initial training spanning 11 years at the PGI from 1970 to early 80s,” he recalled nostalgically.
“I hail from Payal village and have grown up in the region. After completing my schooling from there, I enrolled for pre-medical at DAV College, Jalandhar. I did my MBBS from Patiala Medical College and MD and DM (Doctorate in Medicine Cardiology) from PGI, Chandigarh. I worked in the faculty as Assistant Professor and trained under Dr P.N. Chuttani, who was the Director of the Medicine Department, and Dr P.L. Wahi, Head of the Department of Cardiology at that time,” Dr Talwar said.
Dr Talwar who heads the Department of Cardiology at AIIMS, said his endeavour would be to “restore the glory of the PGI and strengthen the cardiological and cardiosurgical departments.”
Asked to name the areas he would like to focus, on he said: “I’m yet to identify the areas. But any good institute should be of a level that people talk about it. For this, you need quality care, state-of-the-art machines, good clinical care, strong training for good manpower and good research.’’
Dr Talwar is counted among the top cardiologists of the country and was a member of Dr P. Venugopal’s team which did the first heart transplant in India in August, 1994.
He has been actively involved in cardiac transplant programme of AIIMS and has been working on heart biopsies to understand the pathogens of various heart muscle diseases.
He is credited with introducing in India the AICD (Automatic Implantable Cardiovertor and Defibrillator) to prevent sudden cardiac deaths. This earned him a slot in the 1997 edition of the Limca Book of Records.
Dr Talwar has published 350 papers in various national and international journals. He is on the editorial board of three international journals, including the European Journal of Heart Failure, the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs and Devices and Heart News published by the International Society of Heart Diseases.