BENGALURU: Head of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Prof MV Padma Srivastava is the first candidate from outside the institute to be appointed Director, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
NIMHANS has confirmed Dr Padma’s appointment to the top post. Registrar Dr BSS Rao told TNIE that Prof Padma Srivastava “will take charge as the new Director after being relieved from AIIMS”. According to sources, the appointment of an “outsider” has come as a surprise to many in the institute, because there has been no precedence.
Many others said it was expected sooner or later, after the Director’s post became an open selection post after 2012, when NIMHANS was made an Institute of National Importance by Parliament. Eight candidates had applied for the Director’s post, including five from NIMHANS. Among them were Head of Department (HoD), 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 Dr Padma, had applied after the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advertised for the post in March this year. The interview was conducted virtually by Union Minister of Health Dr Harsh Vardhan and Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Dr Padma 2nd woman to head NIMHANS
PROF M V Padma Srivastava’s appointment as the Director, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences goes through the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Dr Padma is the second woman director after Dr M Gourie Devi, who was director/vice- chancellor of NIMHANS from 1997 for five years. She succeeds Dr G Gururaj, senior professor of Epidemiology, who was in-charge director in October for a period of three months, or till the appointment of a new director.