As protests continue over the appointment of a director at IIT Kharagpur, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju expressed "hope" that the issue would be resolved soon.
"The CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) has the report on the director, and they are taking time in deciding on that. So we are hoping that they will be able to expedite it. We are working toward ensuring that normalcy is restored," Raju told reporters here.
IIT-Kharagpur Alumni Association member Atul Bal said the statement appeared positive.
"The statement given by the HRD minister is certainly positive and gives us hope, we are also planning to seek an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise our concern," Bal said.
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 institute.
A protest on July 20 has also been planned for Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata by the alumni and teachers.
The post of the director fell vacant on June 30, 2012. There has been no permanent appointment to the post since. Professor Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, popularly known as PPC, was to be appointed as the new director.
The appointment was stayed as he was accused of handing over a Coal India project that was meant for IIT-KGP to an outside agency. CVC is investigating the issue.
"There is a director but they are not allowing him to sit on the chair. The appointment letter was issue to PPC (Partha Pratim Chakrabarti) in July last year. He is a visionary academician, we want him to be appointed formally," Bal told IANS, adding that Raju's statement offered hope.
"There are many aspects to the situation. Firstly, any such report should be given by the CVC in two months, it's almost a year now," Bal said.
He also said there were other professors who carried out the project, namely R.N. Banerjee and Anil Bhowmick, who was the dean of sponsored research, when the project was awarded.
"Bhowmick has been appointed the director of IIT Patna. What is the problem with PPC," Bal questioned.
"Lot of policy decisions have to be taken, so you cannot expect the acting director to take those. This is badly affecting IIT Kharagpur," he said.