The Faculty Forum of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has come out in support of Institute Director R.K. Shevgaonkar. The executive committee of the Faculty Forum on Tuesday urged Mr. Shevgaonkar to withdraw his resignation.
Mr. Shevgaonkar resigned last week and the Human Resource Development Ministry denied reports that he acted under government pressure.
On the BJP’s demand for a probe into the setting up of the International Institute of Technology Research Academy in Mauritius, which IIT-Delhi had assisted, the institute on Monday issued a clarification saying that the partnership was cleared by the Ministry of External Affairs and there was no financial commitment for IIT-D.
Senior officials in IIT-Delhi and the HRD Ministry confirmed that Mr. Shevgaonkar had expressed reservations about the government’s guidelines on the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. As part of the campaign, top technological institutions assist voluntary organisations in scientific inputs to improving the condition of villages. Seven IITs, including the one in Delhi, already work in rural areas through Rural Technology Action Groups.
Mr. Shevgaonkar, who coordinates the programme, was not in favour of IITs funding private agencies. The differences cropped up during a workshop which was held from September 7 to 9 at IIT-Delhi.
On Tuesday, the chairman of IIT-Delhi’s Board of Governors, V.P. Bhatkar, met Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. After the meet, Ms. Irani met President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also Visitor to IIT-D and is the competent authority to accept or withhold the resignation.