After remaining headless for nearly one-and-a-half years, IIT-Delhi is likely to get a new director in V Ramgopal Rao of IIT-Bombay, whose name has been sent to the President for approval.
Incidentally, Rao, P K Kelkar chair professor in IIT-Bombay, is from the same electrical engineering department to which the last IIT-Delhi director R K Shevgaonkar belonged. Shevgaonkar is now teaching there.
Rao's name was finalised from among 40 candidates who were called for interaction by the search-cum-selection committee last Wednesday. "He was the best among those called for interaction," a source said.
Recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and Infosys prizes, among the many he has received, Rao is chief investigator for the Centre of Excellence in nanoelectronics project at IIT-Bombay. Holder of 32 patents which includes 13 US patents, Rao's patents are being used by industry for commercial purposes.
He was also instrumental in setting up NanoSniff Technologies Pvt Ltd at IIT-Bombay that makes nanotechnology products.
He did his bachelor in technology from Kakatiya University, MTech from IIT-Bombay and doctorate from Munich.
After Shevgaonkar resigned as director in December 2014, IIT-Delhi was being run by officiating directors. Shevgaonkar had left before the expiry of his term over serious differences with the HRD ministry on various issues. Though the HRD ministry later tried to convince him to take back his resignation, Shevgaonkar had made up his mind to go back to IIT-Bombay. In fact, his resignation was accepted after many months.
The ministry also tried to investigate his alleged role in setting up of an institution in Mauritius with the collaboration of IIT-Delhi. However, it was found that neither Shevgaonkar nor any faculty member had made any financial gain. In fact, IIT-Delhi had even sought the ministry's permission before going to Mauritius during the UPA's tenure.