Kakodkar resigns from IIT Bombay Board of Governors

Kakodkar resigns from IIT Bombay Board of Governors

Former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar has resigned as chairman of the board of governors of Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, presumably due to the differences of opinion with the Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on the selection of directors of three IITs.

However, HRD ministry officials said Irani had a long telephonic conversation with the nuclear scientist and persuaded him to continue in his post till May end, when his term ends. Till the time of filing this report, there was no independent confirmation from Kakodkar if he would be continuing in his post. He did not respond to phone calls and text messages.

“I have put down my papers because I want to move ahead,” an agency report quoted Kakodkar as saying. The veteran scientist, one of the architects of the 1998 nuclear tests, refused to comment on whether there are differences between him and the minister over selection of the directors.

The controversial resignation comes ahead of March 22 search-cum-selection committee meeting to pick up the directors of IIT Patna, Bhubaneshwar and Ropar.

The committee is chaired by Irani and Kakodkar is one of the members of the panel. On Sunday, all the 37 candidates who had applied for the post of director of IIT Patna, Bhubaneswar and Ropar would be interviewed.

This has been done because a previous shortlist of 13 candidates was rejected by Irani, who asked the officials to start the process afresh.

Most of the members of the search-cum-selection committees favoured selection of one senior professor of IIT Delhi as director of the one of the IITs, but the minister did not approve the selection and asked the members not to call him for the interview. All the three premier technical institutes have been headless for the last 10 months.

Reliable sources told Deccan herald that a sense of resentment is brewing among the panel members as a result of which some of them might not turn up at the interview.

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