Kolkata: 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 on Friday.
"Chakrabarti has received the clearance from CVC. The confirmation was
received by IIT-KGP through an official letter," TK Ghoshal, IIT-KGP's
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
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 on July 29, 2012, for the director's post
for the next five years after Damodar Acharya retired in June last year.