Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big news for the IITs


Yesterday, the IIT Council met after nearly five years. Yes, after five years.

It was the first meeting of the Council since the UPA government took over. The immediate provocation for calling this meeting appears to be the Chennai High Court's decision last month invalidating the re-appointment of Prof. M.S. Ananth as the Director of IIT-M, because it was not ratified by the IIT-Council. The Court's decision rattled MHRD, because there are several other IIT Directors whose appointment could also run into legal trouble because of the same procedural lapse.

In the event, the IIT Council has not only ratified the appointment or re-appointment of these directors, it also took several other decisions, including the appointment of directors to six of the eight new IITs. I am very happy to see Prof. M.K. Surappa, a colleague, in this august list:

Directors to six new IITs were also appointed at today’s meeting. U.B. Desai, an electrical engineer from IIT Bombay, will head IIT Hyderabad. M.K. Surappa, who teaches metallurgy at [IIT Delhi IISc, Bangalore], will be the director of IIT Roopnagar (Punjab). IIT Kanpur civil engineer Sudhir Jain will head the IIT in Gandhinagar. Anil Bhowmick, from IIT Kharagpur’s rubber technology centre, will be the director of IIT Patna. IIT Kharagpur deputy director Madhusudan Chakraborty will head IIT Bhubaneswar.

The other big move -- about which I don't want to comment right now, because I don't think it'll get the Parliament's approval -- is to exempt some 47 institutions (including IITs and IIMs) from implementing the official reservation policy of the government. Charu Sudan Kasturi's report in the Telegraph has an excellent overview on this issue.

6 Comments:

  1. Pratik Ray said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Pratik Ray said...

    Nice to see two metallurgists in the list of directors for new IITs.

    Regarding exemption from job quotas, UPA govt wont ever take such a step before elections later this year. Nor will any other parties support it. So there is probably no point in arguing about the pros and cons of such a move.

  3. Anonymous said...

    kudos to 'our' prof surappa...

  4. navaneethans said...

    It sounds almost too good to be true that the reservations won't be applicable to the IITs and other institutions of national importance. What are the chances that such a bill will clear Parliament?

    I notice that IISc is not on this list of institutions. Why is that? Does IISc comply with the reservation scheme proposed last year or is it already exempt?

  5. Giri@iisc said...

    Dear Navaneethans:

    IISc certainly is in the list of institutions of national importance. Here is a slightly older list,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_National_Importance

    IISc does have reservations at the Lecturer level and has recruited a number of lecturers from the SC/ST category in the last two years. IISc follows the OBC and SC/ST reservations for the M.E/M.Tech courses, as required by MHRD.

    Giridhar

  6. Anonymous said...

    surprisingly, the bill has been passed without any discussion. it's highly objectionable.

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/13/stories/2009021354500900.htm