Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO SEARO was the chief guest
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare presided over the 47th Convocation of AIIMS New Delhi for the year 2018 and 2019 in the presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare. PoonamKhetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO SEARO was the Chief Guest for the event.
Dr Vardhan began by recognising and thanking all his predecessors for the bridges they built for the institution. “No institution ever attains greatness accidentally even if it has the potential and must always endeavour to attain it,” he added.
Formulating a new vision for AIIMS by looking at the undaunting spirit of its founder, he said, “Rajkumari Amrit Kaur reached out to foreign countries and international development partners to make up for the shortage in fund allocation in her quest to provide world-class medical education to common Indians.”
He continued “By 1961 itself, AIIMS had attained global repute. We have much to learn from Rajkumari Amrit Kaur’s spirit of innovation and courage to envision bold new ventures. That also remains the DNA of AIIMS.”
Dr Vardhan thereafter congratulated the AIIMS Community for being ranked as number one among medical institutions by National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) by the Ministry of education for the third consecutive year.
Dr Vardhan expressed his elation at the perseverance of the Institute in continuing to deliver excellence in the field of health. He stated, “I am honoured and humbled to serve as President of this venerable institution which has showcased exemplary levels of dedication to enhance and elevate the quality of living of citizens from across the country. AIIMS thrived and survived through numerous challenges. Character is indispensable in any great educational undertaking and that is reflected in the long history of the institution.”
He also warned against complacency and stagnation and said, “We have to change and progress. We cannot be left standing in a changing world.”
Appreciating the institute’s contribution to ongoing COVID crisis, Dr Harsh Vardhan observed, “AIIMS has made enormous contributions to patient care, research and education during the crisis. As we recover from the pandemic which has shaken us to the core, we must remember the daily battles fought by the AIIMS fraternity. Our doctors are our real heroes.”
He then proceeded to lay out his vision for the institute in critical points:
- Fostering of an environment that attracts the most talented faculty and staff.
- Student-centric policies with a focus on adult-learners as the present world require lifelong learning.
- Stress on academic excellence and holistic learning.
- Effective use of innovative means provided by technology in Higher Education.
- The drawing up of a common mission, vision and strategic plan for the Institute.
- Operational assessment of successes and setbacks along the way.
Dr Vardhan urged everyone to collectively work for the betterment of the institute. He said, “We have to preserve the legacy of AIIMS and advance towards a new tomorrow. We must be more than observers on the sidelines. We must make choices and take actions that may be difficult. We together can add the next chapter in the rich legacy of AIIMS.”
Congratulating the students, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said, “I convey my deep congratulation to students and residents who have worked very hard to come here. Over past months, AIIMS carried vital role in standardizing care across the country. AIIMS is one of the leading contributors to medical research. Investing in health is not a cost rather an investment. The pandemic has shown us that investing in public health is one the most efficient way to promote and secure sustainable development.”
Invoking the phrase “ManavSeva, MadhavSeva; Nar Seva, Narayan Seva”, Ashwini Kumar Choubey highlighted the ideal life of a doctor dedicated to serving God through serving humanity, by doing everything possible in their capacity to alleviate pain and suffering.
Six senior faculty members were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to AIIMS Delhi. More than 1100 students received their degrees in the convocation with medals of excellence awarded to 90 of them.