BENGALURU: In a surprise development, the Director-designate of the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Prof M V Padma Srivastava, may not take on the assignment of heading the premier mental health institute due to some issues, top sources on condition of anonymity told The New Indian Express.
She is scheduled to take charge as the new Director on February 1 from senior professor of epidemiology and in-charge director Dr G Gururaj. The reasons for the “unprecedented” and “surprising development” are not known, the sources added.
“There has been some talk in the institute to this effect, but there is no official communication on the matter so far. In fact, the arrangements for the takeover by the new director have been made and we are awaiting her arrival, though there is no communication even on that,” said an insider. The term of Dr Gururaj as in-charge director ends on April 3.
8 applied for NIMHANS director post
“In case the new appointee does not take charge, then the Centre will have to re-process the file on the recommendations made by the search committee on the appointment of Director,” said sources. The term of Dr Gururaj as in-charge director ends on April 3.Prof Padma is the Head of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). She was appointed as Director, NIMHANS, in December last year for a period of five years by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on December 23. The NIMHANS had issued her the letter of appointment on December 26.
She is the first candidate from outside the Institute to be appointed as Director, and the second woman director after Dr M Gourie Devi, who was director/vice chancellor in 1997 for five years.The NIMHANS Director’s post became an open selection post after 2012 when it was made an Institute of National Importance (INI) by Parliament.
Eight candidates had applied for the Director’s post including five from NIMHANS. Among them were Head of Department, Psychiatry, Dr Prathima Murthy, former HoD, Psychiatry Dr Prabha Chandra, former HoDs, Neurology, Dr Nalini and Dr Pramod Pal, and former HoD, Neurosurgery, Dr Malla Bhaskara Rao. Three candidates from outside NIMHANS, including Prof Padma, had applied for the top post after the Centre advertised it in March 2020.