IIT-Kharagpur teachers, alumni go on hunger strike

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Kolkata, July 17: The faculty members and alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP), participated in a hunger strike Wednesday to press for the appointment of a full-time director at the premier institute.

Members of the IIT-KGP Teachers Association alleged that the appointment of Partha Pratim Chakrabarti for the post of director has been stalled for over an year due to a delay by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in clearing his name.

"IIT Kharagpur's board of governors has cleared Chakrabarti of any wrongdoing once in March 2012 and again in March 2013. But the CVC is withholding the clearance. In the meantime, S.K. Som has been discharging the director's duties. We feel it is due to the indifference of HRD (Human Resource Development) ministry," Rajendra Singh, a faculty member, told IANS.

Although the acting director has been discharging the directorial duties, Rajendra Singh said a full-time head was necessary for executing long-term plans, including execution of the institute's 'Vision 2020' charter that envisages making IIT-KGP one of the top 20 institutes in the world.

"IIT-KGP is at crossroads for executing the Vision 2020 document. So, for long-term plans like these we need a full-time director," he said.

Joining in the protest are around 30 members of the alumni association from the Kolkata and the Bangalore chapter.

The faculty members are planning a silent procession July 27 when a representative of the HRD ministry is slated to visit the campus.

A press statement issued by the IIT Foundation Alumni Foundation in India said faculty members and alumni have launched a country-wide protest to press for their demand starting July 15.

IIT-KGP is around 135 km from here.

IANS

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