|(Top) AIIMS-Patna director GK Singh and deputy director (administration) Anil Kishore Yadav
Dark clouds of a struggle seem to be hovering over the power corridors of AIIMS-Patna even before the premier health hub has opened its doors to patients.
Sources at the healthcare institution said the director and deputy director (administration) don’t see eye to eye on a number of administrative issues and are on the verge of an epistolary altercation.
Anil Kishore Yadav, the deputy director (administration), had recently approached his senior, director G.K. Singh, to deliberate upon a policy issue. Instead of listening to him, Singh reportedly told him to write a formal letter. Yadav shot off the letter (a copy of it is with The Telegraph) at the end of last month, claiming that he had not been given a fair hearing.
In the letter dated September 26, Yadav claims that the director had taken a number of decisions without consulting the deputy director for “reasons best known to your (director’s) office, may be in a deliberate attempt to avoid check and balance of rule-oriented mechanism of administration”.
Yadav has also written that such conduct and unfair treatment from the head of the institution can only produce an acute sense of injustice. He also expressed his concern about the recruitment process of the faculty members at AIIMS-Patna.
“One may wonder what one would expect from an authority who can appoint an additional professor as professor by a single stroke of the pen,” claims the letter.
Yadav sent copies of the letter to the ministry of health and family welfare as well as C.K. Mishra, joint secretary, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Asked about the tussle, Yadav declined to comment but director Singh confirmed the receipt of the letter. “Yes, I did get the letter from the deputy director (administration),” he said.
Singh said: “He (Yadav) might be angry over a recruitment decision. We had to recruit a faculty member in the neurosurgery department. According to the rules, the faculty member’s age should not be more than 50 years.
“But we had to recruit a person who was above age. We were helpless at that time because we were not getting any qualified person in the required age bracket. The people in the selection committee — including me — took the decision collectively. It might have hurt Yadav but we were not wrong.”
A source at the health hub said the recruitment is not the only reason for the two top officials locking their proverbial horns.
“It is obvious that the two of them disagree with each other,” said the source, adding that the reason for friction between the senior officials at AIIMS-Patna might be their professional trajectories.
“One is an IAS officer (Yadav) and the other is an academic (Singh). Their style of functioning is very different and it leads to disagreements between them,” said a senior faculty member of AIIMS-Patna, who did not want to be named.
The tussle between the senior officials is, however, unfavourable for the health of the institute.
“If this (the tussle) continues, it will impede the growth of AIIMS-Patna,” said the faculty member.
He added that the Union ministry of health and family welfare should look into the problem immediately and sort it out before it spins out of control.
“The AIIMS is not anybody’s private property. If it is facing any problem, the ministry of health and family welfare has to address it,” said the senior faculty member.