PROF AJIT Kumar Chaturvedi, director, IIT, Roorkee, has been named the new director of the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. Prof Chaurvedi will, however, hold additional charge of the IIAS and replace Dr Chetan Singh, who completed his term on December 31 last year. Although the HRD ministry had issued the notification relating to an ‘interim ‘ arrangement at the IIAS on December 31, Prof Chaturvedi, who was appointed as IIT Roorkee last month, took charge only last week. “Prof Chaturvedi will hold the charge till further orders,” says the notification.
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This is a departure from earlier practices — The IIAS director’s charge has been given to an engineer serving in a professional institute outside the state. Earlier, the charges as ‘interim arrangement’ was used to be given to the chairmen of the IIAS’s governing body as had happened in case of G C Pandey and later, Bhalachandra Mungekar.
The incumbent chairperson of the institute is Chandrakala Padia, who is also vice-chancellor of Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner. Highly placed sources said HRD Minister Prakash Jadvekar had apparently adopted a cautious approach in giving charge of the institute. Strong lobbies had been working to get the post even as the HRD ministry was in the process of selecting a regular director.
Sources said at least two incumbent vice-chancellors in the state universities and a senior professor at Himachal Pradesh University had lobbied for the post.
Prof Chaturvedi received a PhD in electrical engineering from IIT, Kanpur, in 1995 and later served in the department of electronics engineering at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, from 1994-1996.
Subsequently, he joined the faculty of the department of electronics and computer engineering at IIT, Roorkee. He moved to IIT Kanpur in 1999 and held the responsibility of the head of the department of electrical engineering during 2009-2010 and was deputy director since October 2014.