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 DelhiIISc, 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.