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3 in race for PGI Directorís post
All three from the institute; Cabinet panel to take final call
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 21
The PGI Institute Body has drawn up a panel of three candidates for selecting the new Director of the institute. The 18-member body, the highest decision-making panel of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chandigarh, chose finalists from a shortlist of five that the technical selection committee had earlier prepared after interviewing all 24 applicants.

Among the three finalists who will now vie for the post are: Dr Amod Gupta, Dean and Head of Ophthalmology Department at the PGI; Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh; and Dr Yogesh K Chawla, Head of Hepatology Department at the PGI. All of them are from the PGI, Chandigarh, with Dr Bahadur currently serving as the head of the GMCH-32 on deputation.

The decision was taken after two hours of deliberations held at the office of the Union Health Ministry. Dr KK Talwar, the present Director of the institute, will retire on April 30. Ministry sources said the three finalists were chosen on the basis of their seniority; administrative and academic abilities and their acceptance levels within the PGI.

After Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who heads the Institute Body, signs the minutes of todayís meeting, the names will be sent to the appointments committee of the Cabinet for the final selection.

Meanwhile, sources told The Tribune that the names in the final panel had not been retained in the order of merit. When asked if the marks awarded to the three candidates by the selection committee would matter in the final selection, sources said marks alone would not count. The technical sub-committee that prepared a shortlist of five candidates earlier had awarded 85 points to Dr Chawla; 80 to Dr Amod Gupta and 75 to Dr Raj Bahadur. Dr B Behera, head of the LRS Institute of Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, who shared 75 marks with Bahadur in the shortlist, didnít figure in the final list.

Among the finalists, Dr Raj Bahadur has the maximum administrative experience. He served as the Professor and Head of Unit at Delhiís Safdarjung and Maulana Azad Colleges from 1994-95; Head of the Orthopaedic Department at the GMCH-32; Professor and Head of Unit at the PGI where he was also Additional Medical Superintendent (MS) from 2006-07. Dr Bahadur was MS at the GMCH-32 between 2000 and 2004 and is currently the Director there. He has been heading the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Mohali (there are four such centres across India) since 2000.

Dr Amod Gupta presently heads PGIís Ophthalmology Department and is the senior-most doctor on the final panel. When he applied for the Directorís post, he was Sub Dean, but was promoted as Dean in February. Dr Chawla is a liver expert and heads the Hepatology Department at the PGI.

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