The HRD Ministry on Monday appointed Abhay Karandikar and Rajeev Shekhar as the new directors of IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Dhanbad, respectively. While Karandikar is a professor of electrical engineering at IIT Bombay and also the institute’s Dean (Faculty Affairs), Shekhar teaches materials science and engineering at IIT Kanpur. Karandikar succeeds Indranil Manna, while Shekhar succeeds DC Panigrahi.
These are the first appointments after the government tweaked the selection procedure for IIT directors last year.
As first reported by The Indian Express on September 7 last year, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar scrapped the policy of allowing an incumbent IIT director to continue for a second term based on his performance evaluation by a committee. This was done four years after the previous UPA dispensation gave serving directors the opportunity for a second term without being pitted against competitors.
Under the new policy, the director’s post is advertised as vacant and the incumbent, if interested in another term, will have to compete with other candidates for the job, the HRD Ministry informed the Lok Sabha this month in reply to a question. The change in procedure was passed after Panigrahi and Manna expressed interest in a second term.