Pediatric outpatient services were started in PGI in 1962 by Dr. O.N. Bhakoo. This was followed by inpatient services with 12 beds, which soon grew to 24 beds in 1964. Dr. Saroj Mehta, and then Dr. B.N.S. Walia, joined the Department subsequently as faculty members in 1964-65. At that time the Department had 30 beds and besides outpatient clinics, also offered services of two special clinics - one for liver diseases, and the other for tuberculosis.

In early 1966, a standalone Pediatrics ward was sanctioned with 50 beds. The Pediatrics postgraduate training program (MD Pediatrics) started in 1967 with 3 students.

The Department of Pediatrics admittedly had a modest beginning but has been making steady progress thereafter.

The Advanced Pediatrics Centre (APC) was sanctioned by Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare in late 1980s as an apex national centre for training, patient care and research in Pediatrics. This project was one of a kind in the country with facilities including intensive care units, superspecialty wards, outpatient specialty clinics and research laboratories. Main objective of the project was to provide high quality treatment for complex and serious ailments affecting children by initiating superspecialty training programs. It was envisioned that each such program would have clinical services as well as a research laboratory of its own. The other objective was to train young pediatricians of the country in superspecialties of Pediatrics, to conduct research in diseases and problems relevant to developing countries, to establish models of delivery of health care in community and, to work for and support the National Programs related to child survival. 

The Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Pediatric Surgery, along with their allied services, became the main constituents of APC. Joint teaching programs, and collaborative research between APC and other departments of the institute, were actively encouraged to ensure optimal utilization of available infrastructure and resources.

Several new training programs pertaining to superspecialties in Pediatrics have been initiated at the APC over the last 3 decades. These have set the benchmark for superspecialty (DM) training programs in Pediatrics in India.

APC now has more superspecialty training programs in Pediatrics than any other department/institute in the country.

At present, the Department of Pediatrics offers 3-year post-doctoral (DM) training programs in the following superspecialties of Pediatrics:

1. DM Neonatology (since 1989): this was the first DM programme in Pediatrics in India.

2. DM Pediatric Critical Care (since 2009)

3. DM Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (since 2009)

4. DM Pediatric Neurology (since 2011)

5. DM Pediatric Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology (since 2014)

6. DM Pediatric Pulmonology (since 2019)

7. DM Pediatric Endocrinology (since 2019)

8. DM Medical Genetics (since 2019)

9. DM Pediatric Nephrology (January 2022)

In addition, the following postdoctoral Fellowship programmes have also been initiated:

1. Fellowship in Pediatric Epilepsy (since 2020)

2. Fellowship in Laboratory Immunology and Molecular Laboratory Hematology (since 2020)

3. Fellowship in Pediatric Diabetes (January 2022)

4. Fellowship in Pediatric Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine (PREM) (January 2022)

The Department has the privilege of hosting 3 Centres for Advanced Research (CAR) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

1. ICMR-CAR for Evidence-based Child Health (2012-2018; 2019-2024)

2. ICMR-CAR for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (2015-2020)

3. ICMR-CAR for Pediatric Emergency Care (2018-2022)

The Department also has the privilege of hosting 2 international centres in Pediatric Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology:

1. Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR) Center of Excellence in Rheumatolgy (2020-2023): this is the first such accredited center for Rheumatology in India as well as South Asia

2. Angioedema Center of Reference and Excellence (ACARE) (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network- Hereditary Angioedema International) (2020-2022)