Board stamp on IIEST upgrade

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 3.01.15
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The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology

The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has finally got its board of governors, marking the formal completion of its upgrade from a state university to a central institute.

The board, which has replaced the executive council and court, is the sole decision-making body of the Shibpur institute, which was known as the Bengal Engineering and Science University before the upgrade.

The executive council had last met on December 18.

The board, comprising 13 nominated members, is chaired by Koppillil Radhakrishnan, who retired as the Indian Space Research Organisation chairman on December 31.

Among the other members are Indranil Manna (Besu alumnus and IIT Kanpur director), Sneh Annand (professor at IIT Delhi's Centre for Bio-mechanical Engineering), N. Balakrishnan (professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore), and the secretaries in the department of science and technology and the department of industrial policy and promotion of the Union government.

The institute's senate - which comprises all professors of the institute and replaces the faculty council - will nominate two of its members to the board.

The full-term director of the IIEST, additional secretary (technology) in the department of higher education of the Union government, director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and financial adviser to the human resource development ministry are ex-officio members.

One more ex-officio member will be announced later.

The institute's registrar will serve as non-member secretary to the board.

The notification of the human resource development ministry announcing the formation of the board of governors reached the Shibpur campus on December 23, an official of the institute said.

The notification - signed by Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, the director of National Institutes of Technologies - sets the tenure of all members, except the ex-officio ones, till September 9, 2017.

An IIEST official said the ministry would now focus on appointing a full-term director of the institute.

Till the appointment, Ajoy Kumar Ray would continue to function as interim director and would report to the chairperson of the board.

Explaining the importance of the board, an official of the state higher education department said decisions like setting aside 50 per cent seats in the integrated programmes (BTech and MTech) from the 2015-16 academic session for the students from Bengal would require the approval of the board.

Former state education minister Bratya Basu had last year written to interim director Ray, requesting him to take up with the Centre the issue of setting aside half of the 500-odd seats for students from Bengal.

The Left Front government had in 2007 given go-ahead to a proposal to convert Besu into an IIEST based on an understanding that half the seats would be reserved for "state students".

"The board has to take up the issue at the earliest if such a reservation is to be implemented from the next academic year. Besides, the board also has to approve proposals like keeping an exit point at the dual degree programme," said the official.

Ray had last year proposed that students taking admission to the dual-degree course at the IIEST would be allowed to opt out after the fourth year with the BTech degree if they were found unable to cope with the integrated programme.