The country’s prestigious All-India Institute of Medical Sciencesis looking for a new head, with current director Dr. R.C. Deka’s term ending in September-end.

The process of looking for a new director started two months ago. The institute body is expected to meet early next week to finalise and submit a list of those in the running for the post.

The final list of names would have to be cleared at the meeting, which will be headed by AIIMS president and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The probable candidates from within the institute are Dr. Balram Airam from the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery; Dr. M. C. Misra, head of surgery and chief of the Trauma Centre; Dr. Y. K. Gupta, head of pharmacology; Dr. V. K. Behl, head of cardiology; Dr. S. K. Acharya, head of gastroenterology; Dr. V. K. Paul, head of paediatrics; and Dr. S. K. Panda, head of pathology.

“The institute has received 70 applications for the director’s post and we have got applications from outside the institute and even the country. This year the applicants were allowed to send in their applications till August 14. The final clearance of the selection is to be done by the Cabinet,” a senior Health Ministry official said. He refused to divulge the names or the number of Indian doctors living abroad who have applied for the post. “The matter and the names have to be cleared by the institute body. We cannot give out any names before that. Experts involved in the search process include senior members from Delhi University, the Health Ministry, University Grants Commission representatives and members of the National Board of Examination and Indian Council of Medical Research.” In 2007, Parliament had passed the AIIMS (Amendment) Act to fix the retirement age of the director as 65 years or the completion of a five-year term, whichever comes first.