NEW DELHI: The Human Resource Development Ministry has finally given its nod to the appointment of Professor Partha Pratim Chakrabarti as the new director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
The decision comes after protests by students, faculty and the alumni across the country as India’s oldest IIT has been without a director for over a year.
The HRD Ministry informed the chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Kharagpur, about its decision to clear the way for the appointment of Prof Chakrabarti be given the appointment.
Though a selection panel by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had appointed Prof Chakrabarti to the director’s position in June 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) didn’t give him the clearance because of his alleged involvement, along with two senior professors, in the so-called Coalnet project scam.
Under the Coalnet project, given to IIT Kharagpur by Coal India Ltd in 2001, the IIT was to develop a software called Coalnet to facilitate sharing of information between the Ministry of Coal, Coal India Ltd and its subsidiary.
But because of multiple delays and rising costs, it couldn’t be completed. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation also found alleged irregularities by Prof Charkabarti and the two professors in manipulating records.
Last week, faculty, students and alumni held protests in Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore for the confirmation of dean Prof Chakrabarti as the director of IIT Kharagpur. They also gave memorandums to the President and the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter.