President Droupadi Murmu nods to directors of 8 IITs

President Droupadi Murmu has approved the appointment of principals of eight Indian Institutes of Technology, the Ministry of Education announced on Monday.

These are the first major set of appointments to institutes of higher education approved by President Murmu after she took office in July.

The IITs expected to get new principals include the Palakkad, Tirupati, Dharwad, Bhilai, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneswar, Goa and Jammu campuses.

The new appointees are all serving directors or professors of IITs. For example, Professor A Seshadri Sekhar, currently attached to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras, will be the new director of IIT Palakkad.

IIT Tirupati will be headed by Professor KN Satyanaryana, who is currently the Director of IIT Tirupati. Professor Venkappayya R Desai of the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur will head IIT Dharwad.

Among others, the current director of IIT Bhilai, Professor Rajat Moona, will head the upcoming IIT Gandhinagar. The former director of IIT Gandhinagar has been appointed as the vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University.

IIT Bhilai will be headed by Professor Rajiv Prakash of the School of Materials Science and Technology, IIT (BHU). Professor Shreepad Karmalkar of the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras will head IIT Bhubaneswar.

Dr Pasumarthy Seshu, director of IIT Dharwad, will be the head of IIT Goa, while acting director of IIT Jammu, Prof. Manoj Singh Gaur, will now be the full-time director of the institute .

Many of these institutions have been without directors for years, a fact that has seen the government go against the usual practice and notify these appointments en masse. Incidentally, former President Ramnath Kovind had, in July 2021, appointed vice-chancellors of 12 universities.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is on an official visit to Tamil Nadu, said at an event at IIT Madras on Monday, “IITs are not just educational institutions, they are the temples to create a scientific temper and shape the future of humanity. Our society has high expectations from the IITs. Our IITians must be the torchbearers of growth and development.”

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