Published: 04th April 2022
IIT Kharagpur's Director Virendra Kumar Tewari given additional charge of IIT Bhubaneswar. Here's why
RV Rajakumar was a Professor at IIT Kharagpur, in the Department of Electronics & Electrical Communications, and it was on April 22, 2015, that he joined as Director, IIT Bhubaneswar
Virendra Kumar Tewari, currently the Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has taken over as Director IIT Bhubaneswar, whose officiating Director was RV Rajakumar.
"Tewari will hold the additional responsibility of IIT Bhubaneswar till a new/regular Director is appointed or till further orders, whichever is earlier," said a statement from the institute.
RV Rajakumar was a Professor at IIT Kharagpur, in the Department of Electronics & Electrical Communications, and it was on April 22, 2015, that he joined as Director, IIT Bhubaneswar. After completing his term in April 2020, he was on indefinite extension.
The director's tenure can be extended till June 30 of the year after their tenure concludes, as per the statute of the institute. Initially, Rajakumar was given an extension till June 30, 2020 post the end of his term in April that year.
Ramesh Pokhriyal, the then Union HRD Minister, had invoked emergency powers that the IIT Council Chairman holds to grant an indefinite extension to Rajakumar. This was till the appointment of a regular director.
Peek into the past
According to The Telegraph, last year, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had complained to Amit Khare, who was the Higher Education Secretary then, about alleged irregularities under RV Rajakumar, who hails from Andhra Pradesh.
When it comes to the appointment of teachers, it was alleged that RV Rajakumar was giving undue advantage to Telugu-speaking candidates. They went on to state that over 70 per cent of the 40 faculty positions went to those from AP. He was also accused of levying high fines, as high as Rs 50,000, for minor offences.
The Telegraph had also reported that Registrar Devaraj Rath said they received no such complaints.
It may be noted that under RV Rajakumar, IIT Bhubaneswar's National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking went down from 22 in 2020 to 28 in 2021.