Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Friday decided to amend the law governing the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here and the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh to improve their functioning.

The amendment, which will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament, is likely to fix the age of the directors of the institutes at 65 years. This move may cut short the tenure of AIIMS director P. Venugopal, who is at loggerheads with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

Briefing reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said the move was aimed at improving the administration of the prestigious institution.

The amendment could also propose that the institute director have a term of five years and retire at 65, whichever is earlier. If the proposal is adopted, Dr. Venugopal, whose dismissal was earlier stayed by the Delhi High Court, would have to relinquish office immediately as he turned 65 this month.

Dr. Ramadoss had set up a three-member committee, headed by M.S. Valiathan, founder-director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, to go into AIIMS’ functioning.

Another committee that went into allegations of caste-based discrimination at AIIMS accused Dr. Venugopal of “inciting” the anti-reservation movement.