New Delhi: The HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is learnt to have approved the proposal that the once the post of an IIT chairman falls vacant, no IIT director can hold an additional charge of the institute. Rather, anyone of the incumbent chairpersons of other IITs shall be requested to hold the baton until the government fulfills the vacancy.
At present, of the 23 premier engineering schools, five (Jodhpur, Gandhinagar, Indore, Ropar and Roorkee) do not have a full time chairman for their respective Board of Governors (BoG). Their directors are currently also acting as the institute chairman. For more than two years, the posts at IIT- Jodhpur and IIT Gandhinagar are lying vacant.
This decision of the government was prompted by a letter written by Prof. Ashok Misra to the HRD Ministry in October 2017. Prof. Misra served as a chairman at IIT Roorkee till May 2017.
In his communication, Prof. Misra raised the practice of giving an additional responsibility to the director as the chairman of the institute as ‘conflict of interest’.
According to Misra, ‘conflict of interest’ arises when the vacancy lasts for longer duration and the director takes a decision s well as approves it in his capacity as the acting chairman.
Misra’s suggestion to the government was to either extend the term of the retiring chairman, until his or her successor is appointed, or request one of the BoG members to act as chairman until the post is filled.
Although the ministry agreed with Misra’s logic, it went with a different solution. Javadekar has approved the proposal to give additional charge of the vacant post of chairman at an IIT to the incumbent chairman of another IIT.