Kolkata, July 26 IANS | 2 years ago

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has given clearance to Partha Pratim Chakrabarti to formally officiate as the director of Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), its registrar confirmed Friday.

"Chakrabarti has received the clearance from CVC. The confirmation was received by IIT-KGP through an official letter," T.K. Ghoshal, IIT-KGP's registrar, told IANS over phone.

Rajendra Singh, general secretary of the alumni association, said Chakrabarti would be appointed as the institution's head in a week's time.

"His name has been cleared by CVC. It will take a week for him to take charge as the director following the president's signature," Rajendra Singh told IANS.

Protests were held in Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore as members of the IIT Alumni Foundation, teachers and students pressed for Chakrabarti's appointment as the director of the 63-year-old institution.

Chakrabarti's appointment was stalled as he was accused in the Coal Net case between IIT-KGP and Coal India Limited (CIL), which was probed by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

The post of institute's director has been vacant since June 30, 2012.

Coal Net was a Rs.28-crore project that would enable data sharing between the coal ministry and CIL and its subsidiaries. It was awarded to IIT-KGP. However, against the rules, the institute awarded the project to a private company owned by an alumnus.

IIT-Kharagpur's alumnus and co-founder of Hindustan Computers Ltd (HCL) Arjun Malhotra claimed in Delhi last week that the CBI report recommended only a minor penalty against Chakrabarti.

According to CVC guidelines, matters with minor penalty must be resolved within two months of receiving statements. But IIT-KGP alumni said that Chakrabarti had responded to the first CVC/CBI inquiry about four-and-a-half years ago.

Chakrabarti, an alumni of the institute, was selected by the ministry's search-cum-selection committee July 29, 2012, for the director's post for the next five years after Damodar Acharya retired in June last year.

(Posted on 26-07-2013)