Published: 11th January 2022
Four of India's biggest IITs - Madras, Delhi, Indore and Mandi - get new directors. Here are the details
IIT Madras had topped the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings 2021 in the engineering category. IIT Delhi was placed second, IIT Indore 10th, while IIT Mandi had the 31st rank
The government, on January 10, appointed new directors to the Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi, Madras, Indore and Mandi. Professor Rangan Banerjee of IIT Bombay has been appointed as the next Director of IIT Delhi, while professor V Kamakoti of IIT Madras has been elevated as the Director of the same institute. Professor Laxmidhar Behera of IIT Kanpur and Professor Suhas Joshi of IIT Bombay have been appointed as Directors of IIT Mandi and IIT Indore, respectively.
Banerjee, a Forbes Marshall Chair Professor in IIT Bombay, is a BTech (Mechanical) from the same institute where he also went on to obtain a PhD in the subject. The outgoing Director of IIT Delhi, Professor Ramgopal Rao, who was serving on an extension with his five-year tenure having ended in April last year, announced Banerjee's appointment on Facebook and extended his best wishes to him. JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, and IIT Delhi Professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics Santosh Kapuria, were also shortlisted for the post of next IIT Delhi director. The search-cum-selection panel constituted for this purpose had interviewed the shortlisted candidates in September last year.
IIT Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi's tenure, as well, had ended in April last year and he was on an extension. He was replaced was Kamakoti, who is a member of the National Security Advisory Board, and at present teaches in IIT Madras’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. He helped design India’s first indigenously developed microprocessor, SHAKTI.
IIT Mandi and IIT Indore were being led by Acting Directors Professor Ajit Kumar and Professor Neelesh Kumar Jain, respectively. Behera, who holds the Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair, is a Professor in IIT Kanpur's Department of Electrical Engineering and specialises in robotics and AI.
He told the Indian Express, “During the interview, I had shared my plan to focus on certain areas such as climate-controlled agriculture, bioenergy, robotics and AI and cognitive science. My focus will also be on improving the ranking of IIT Mandi."
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, he ran a community kitchen on the campus to feed over 800 street children daily. Joshi, on the other hand, holds the Rahul Bajaj Chair Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Bombay. Serving as the Dean, Alumni and Corporate Relations of IIT-B, Joshi is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences.
IIT Madras had topped the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings 2021 in the engineering category. IIT Delhi was placed second, IIT Indore 10th, while IIT Mandi had the 31st rank.