Days before a new dispensation comes to the Centre, HRD Minister Pallam Raju has granted a second consecutive term to IIT-Gandhinagar director Sudhir Jain. It is learnt that the move came earlier this week as recognition of Jain’s “outstanding performance”.
He is the third IIT director to get a second term of five years. While IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar had got a second term late last year, his IIT-Hyderabad counterpart U B Desai was granted another term earlier this year.
With Raju having approved Jain’s appointment, the same will be referred to President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the Visitor to all IITs. Raju, who had been confined to his constituency Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, reached New Delhi earlier this week to clear a backlog of files.
A policy decision taken by Raju in the last IIT Council meeting he chaired in September 2013 had cleared a possible second term to an incumbent IIT director without conducting the usual selection process if a committee assessed his performance as ‘outstanding’. The proposal mooted by IIT directors argued that this will provide the institute greater stability and a director will be able to build the institute better.
An IIT director’s first term performance is assessed on parameters such as building the institution as a global brand and research hub, introduction of new academic programmes, faculty retention and development, academic, administrative and financial reforms, revenue generation among others.
While directors of IITs in Bhubaneswar, Patna and Ropar will also complete their terms this year, the ministry has decided to not grant an automatic second term to them.
While vigilance issues have hampered the second term chances for the directors of IIT-Patna and Bhubaneswar, for IIT-Ropar, the ministry has decided to go through the usual advertisement and selection process.