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In memo to staff, AIIMS says get Health Minister nod to invite dignitaries

THE ALL India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has issued an office memorandum stating that invitations to “high dignitaries” for any function will have to be approved by the institute’s president. The AIIMS website lists Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya as the president of the Institute Body (IB).

“It has come to the notice of the competent authority that invitations for functions are being extended to high dignitaries without the knowledge of the president, AIIMS, New Delhi. It is directed that such invitations are to be extended only with the approval of the president, AIIMS through director, AIIMS, New Delhi,” reads the memorandum dated October 1, issued by the Chief Administrative Officer, Deo Nath Sah.

The order was sent to all deans of academic, research and examination departments, chiefs of centres, medical superintendent, and heads of departments and sections.

When contacted, Dr Karan Madan, the officiating PRO, did not comment on the issue.

“The president should be in the loop to avoid any confusion or any untoward circumstances,” said an official.

AIIMS was set up in 1956 as an autonomous institution through an Act of Parliament.

According to a former director of the institute, who did not want to be identified, the president’s concurrence used to be taken only for major events such as convocations. “There was no written order as such in my tenure… Only for convocations and other major functions, where an award had to be given to someone, would we take the president’s approval, where the Prime Minister or the President or a VVIP was attending the event, and not for any other ordinary function,” he said.

“For inviting foreign nationals, it is usually the director who gives permission to various departments… For convocations and international conferences, prior government’s permissions are obtained through the president’s office, that is, the health ministry,” the former director added.

Another former director, Dr M C Mishra, said there was no harm in taking approval from the president for security purposes. “There was no such written order earlier, but if a high profile dignitary is being invited, the president’s approval needs to be taken for security purposes. It is needed so that a system is in place,” said Dr Mishra.

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