Professor Abhay Karandikar, the director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), has been appointed for the role of secretary for the Department of Science and Technology (DST). This appointment follows the transition from Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, who had been carrying dual roles, serving as both the secretary of the Department of Biotechnology and shouldering the additional charge of DST.
The backdrop to this change includes the return of the previous DST secretary, S. Chandrashekhar, to his parent institute, citing personal reasons before his tenure’s completion. The official announcement regarding Professor Karandikar’s appointment came via the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which granted its approval. He will assume the role of DST Secretary, with tenure extending until he reaches the age of 60 or until further orders, whichever occurs earlier, as specified in the official notice.
Who is he?
Professor Abhay Karandikar, an electrical engineer by profession, originally assumed the position of director of IIT Kanpur, in 2018. His research endeavors have encompassed areas such as frugal 5G technology and rural broadband accessibility.
Karandikar’s influence extends beyond academia, as he has been an integral founding member and former chairman of the Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), a body that plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s telecommunications standards.
His commitment to bridging the digital divide is evident through his involvement as a consultant for the design and implementation of BharatNet, a government initiative aimed at providing broadband connectivity to India’s rural regions. This initiative not only enhances connectivity but also facilitates critical services such as tele-consultations with expert doctors in remote areas.
Professor Karandikar has collaborated with the high-performance computing group at the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). This collaboration aligns with the National Supercomputing Mission, a visionary endeavor seeking to establish a grid of over 70 supercomputers across India’s academic institutions.
His appointment as the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology holds the promise of continued progress in the realms of technology and scientific development within the nation.