V K Tewari appointed IIT-Kharagpur director

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed V K Tewari as the new director of IIT-Kharagpur on Tuesday. He succeeds Partha Pratim Chakrabarti. Tewari is a professor of Agriculture and Food Engineering at IIT-Kharagpur. He has been teaching at the institute since 1990. IIT-Kharagpur’s incumbent director Partha Chakrabarti and Rajesh Ahuja from Sweden were the other contenders for the job.

The panel of three finalists was submitted by the search-cum-selection committee to the ministry on October 18.HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal is learned to have selected Tewari, and the ministry forwarded his name to Rashtrapati Bhawan last week.

The President’s approval came Monday and the appointment order was issued Tuesday.Interestingly, Tewari’s appointment orders came on the day he would have retired as professor — he is 65. The HRD Ministry’s advertisement inviting applications for the post stated that “the applicant should preferably be less than 60 years of age on the last date of receipt of the applications”. According to sources he is probably the oldest candidate appointed as an IIT director.

Tewari was mired in controversy when it was discovered that former institute director Sishir Kumar Dube used his discretionary quota to admit Tewari’s son to the institute. The discretionary quota has been scrapped ever since.