Govt appoints new directors for four IITs, including Delhi

THE GOVERNMENT on Monday appointed new directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi, Madras, Indore and Mandi.

Prof Rangan Banerjee of IIT Bombay has been appointed as the next Director of IIT Delhi while Prof. V. Kamakoti of IIT Madras has been elevated to Director of the same institute. Prof Laxmidhar Behera of IIT Kanpur and Prof Suhas Joshi of IIT Bombay have been appointed as Directors of IIT Mandi and IIT Indore respectively.

The outgoing directors of IIT Delhi and IIT Madras – Prof Ramgopal Rao and Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi – were in office with extension, with their five-year terms ending in April 2021. IIT Mandi and IIT Indore were led by Acting Directors Prof Ajit Kumar and Prof Neelesh Kumar Jain, respectively.

Prof Banerjee, a Forbes Marshall Chair Professor in IIT Bombay, is a B Tech (Mechanical) from the same institute. He obtained a PhD (Mechanical Engineering), also from IIT Bombay.

When contacted, Prof Banerjee said that although he had been informed of the appointment, it was too early to speak on the matter.

Prof Kamakoti, Member of the National Security Advisory Board, teaches in the Computer Science and Engineering Department of IIT Madras. Kamakoti helped design India’s first domestically developed microprocessor SHAKTI.

Prof Joshi is the Rahul Bajaj Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of IIT Bombay. Prof Joshi is the Dean, Alumni and Business Relations of IIT-B and is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof Behera, the Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor in IIT Kanpur Department of Electrical Engineering, specializes 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.”

Sajal Jain
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