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Its offcial, Partha Pratim Chakrabarti to head IIT-KGP
Friday July 26, 2013 8:45 PM, IANS

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has given its nod to the appointment of Partha Pratim Chakrabarti as director of Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), the institute's registrar said Friday.

"Chakrabarti has received the clearance from the CVC. The confirmation was received by IIT-KGP through an official letter," T.K. Ghoshal, IIT-KGP's registrar, told IANS over phone.

When contacted by IANS, Chakrabarti said: "I have seen the report in newspapers, but I don't want to comment."

Rajendra Singh, general secretary of the alumni association of the institute, said Chakrabarti would be appointed the institute's head in a week's time.

"His name has been cleared by the CVC. It will take a week for him to take charge as the director, following the president's signature," Rajendra Singh told IANS.

Alumni and teachers who were protesting the delay in the appointment of the IIT's director, meanwhile, decided to cancel their agitation they had earlier scheduled. Many alumni were campaigning for the appointment of Chakrabarti as director.

Deepak Rathi, a member of the IIT-KGP Alumni Association which was spearheading protests in different cities, said he felt "elated". "We feel elated, finally our hard work paid off," Rathi told IANS, adding that the schedule of protests that had earlier been drawn out would be cancelled.

The passing-out batch of IIT-KGP planned to sport black bands at their convocation ceremony Saturday. This would no longer be necessary.

A hunger strike scheduled for August 3 has also been called off.

Protests were held in Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore as members of the IIT Alumni Foundation, teachers and students pressed for Chakrabarti's appointment as director of the 63-year-old institution.

Chakrabarti's appointment was stalled as he was accused in the Coal Net case between IIT-KGP and Coal India Limited (CIL), which was probed by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The post of director of the institute has been vacant since June 30, 2012.

Coal Net was a Rs.28-crore project that would enable data sharing between the coal ministry and CIL and its subsidiaries. It was awarded to IIT-KGP. However, against the rules, the institute awarded the project to a private company owned by an alumnus.

IIT-Kharagpur's alumnus and co-founder of Hindustan Computers Ltd. (HCL) Arjun Malhotra claimed in Delhi last week that the CBI report recommended only a minor penalty against Chakrabarti.

According to CVC guidelines, matters with minor penalty must be resolved within two months of receiving statements. But IIT-KGP alumni said that Chakrabarti had responded to the first CVC/CBI inquiry about four-and-half years ago.

Chakrabarti, a teacher at the institute who is also an alumnus, was selected by the ministry's search-cum-selection committee July 29, 2012, for the director's post for the next five years after Damodar Acharya retired in June last year.


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