New Director of AIIMS yet to be decided : Ramadoss

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Patna, Jul 11 (UNI) Ending all speculations over the appointment of the new Director of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) in New Delhi following retirement of Dr S Venugopal yesterday, Union Health minister Ambumani Ramadoss today said, ''it is yet to be decided''.

Addressing a news conference here after inaugurating a national seminar on 'World Population Day', Dr Ramadoss said though his ministry had received a 'number of applications from several deserving candidates the final selection was yet to be made.

Stressing that there was no hurry to fill up the vacant post, the union minister said the appointment would be made after going through all the procedures.

He, however, refused to elaborate further on the issue despite repeated queries from the newsmen.

About the expansion programmes of AIIMS, Dr Ramadoss said in accordance with the government decision to set up six more AIIMS in different parts of the country to spread out the best medical facilities and expertise across the country, they had decided to divide the work schedule in two parts.

Accordingly, he informed that the construction of the housing complexes for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff members in every centre would start by the end of next month (August 2008), while the work for the hospital buildings would begin during October/November next.

Earlier speaking at the seminar, Dr Ramadoss expressed serious concern at the steady growth of obesity and other food related problems among the children and youth of the country and urged the school authorites to ensure a blanket ban on consumption of junk food inside their campuses.

''If the beginning could be made by the school authorities,it was bound to have a positive chain effect among the guardians and other people as well,'' the minister emphasised and reiterated his appeal to avoid junk food.

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