The HRD ministry has appointed GC Tripathi, presently vice chancellor (VC) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), as chairman of the IIT-BHU board of governors (BoG) — an appointment that has raised eyebrows.
According to the Indian Institute of Technology (Amendment) Act 2012, the vice chancellor of BHU can be appointed as either a member of the board or its vice-chairman, but not the chairman.
As per practice, the BoG sends a panel of names to the ministry, from which one is chosen as chairman.
The ministry cleared Tripathi’s name after setting aside recommendations from the board, which includes former Nasscom president Kiran Karnik and former director of IIM-Bangalore Pankaj Chandra.
Known for his links to the RSS, Tripathi was appointed VC by the NDA government in December last year. His appointment, sources said, defeats the purpose of converting BHU’s information technology (IT) department into an IIT and giving it autonomy.
“The executive council of the BHU can nominate the vice-chairman and also two members of the board. Now, along with the BoG chairman who is the vice chancellor, three other members of the BoG will also be from BHU. So, IIT practically will be governed by BHU. Where is IIT’s autonomy?” asked an IIT faculty member.
The IT department under BHU was upgraded to a full-fledged IIT through an amendment in the IIT ACT.
The ministry did not respond to HT’s query for comment on this issue.