Scientist back on IIT panels

Nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar appears to have restored his relations with the human resource development ministry by associating himself with two fresh search panels after expressing displeasure over the way some IIT directors were selected recently.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 22.04.15
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Kakodkar

New Delhi, April 21: Nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar appears to have restored his relations with the human resource development ministry by associating himself with two fresh search panels after expressing displeasure over the way some IIT directors were selected recently.

Kakodkar is part of the search panels set up for selecting the directors of IIT Mandi and IIT Indore. As chairman of the standing committee of the IIT Council (SCIC), Kakodkar has agreed to cooperate in the selection of the two new directors.

The former chairman of the AtomicEnergy Commission had last month resigned as chairman of IIT Bombay, apparently unhappy after the ministry scrapped the shortlisted candidates for directors for IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Patna and IIT Ropar. He did not attend the final interview held on March 22.

Kakodkar was a member of the three search panels set up for selecting the directors of the three IITs. The panels had interacted with 37 candidates and shortlisted 13 for interviews. The interviews were held on February 16 but the ministry directed that the shortlist be scrapped on the ground that no "right" candidate could be found.

All the 37 candidates were later called for a fresh interview on March 22.

The ministry has requested Kakodkar to continue as IIT Bombay chairman till his tenure gets over next month. Ministry sources said Kakodkar has agreed.

Kakodkar couldn't be reached for comments. Repeated calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.

The terms of IIT Mandi director Timothy A. Gonsalves and IIT Indore director Pradeep Mathur ended in December last year. Both have been given six-month extensions.

The HRD ministry has set up two search panels headed by minister Smriti Irani. The other members on the panel on IIT Indore are its chairman Ajay Piramal, industry expert Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and academic T.D. Dogra. The committee on IIT Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, includes its chairman M. Natarajan and academic Anil Sahashrabudhe.

According to the existing practice, incumbent directors are given the opportunity to present their vision for the institute for the coming five years. The search panel visits the institute, interacts with the director and other stakeholders and recommends if the director should get a second term.

If the search panel gives a negative report, the post would be advertised and fresh applications sought.

While the search committee on IIT Indore would visit the institute on April 29, the committee on IIT Mandi would visit the campus on May 7, official sources said.