Prior to the enactment of the NIT Act, the chairpersons were directly selected by the HRD minister in his capacity as Chairman of the Council of NITs.
In July 2010, the ministry decided to approach the scientific community, CSIR, IITs, industrial and commercial institutions as well as industry houses to nominate persons of eminence for the posts of chairpersons of 30 NITs.
“This is with the purpose of utilizing the services of eminent persons and their expertise in channeling the available resources of the NITs in developing a pool of technical repository in the country,” the ministry said.
The ministry had received 110 names including those of industrialists, academicians, scientists and retired bureaucrats. But this list was given a miss.
When The Indian Express sought his comments, Jamdar admitted writing to Irani. “I rendered my services since I was a board member right from the day it became VNIT in 2002 to 2012. Also because I got education from this college,” he said over phone.
He said he continued to be associated with the RSS but said his interaction with Irani was “not much” before she became minister. “I met her a few times during any BJP meet,” he said.
In the proposal to the President, Jamdar is mentioned as president of Laghu Udyog Bharti — it was the beneficiary of an institutional plot on Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg in New Delhi in early 2003 when the NDA was in power.
According to the VNIT website, Jamdar graduated in metallurgy from the college when it was the VRCE. It says “his association with the industry started way back in 1972” and he worked with “more than 40 industries”.
He was chairman of the Dharampeth Polytechnic, Nagpur from 2010-2013. He was national president of the Laghu Udyog Bharti for three years and a member of the working group on labour formed by the PMO, the website stated.
Last month, Irani quashed the panel suggested for NITs at Calicut, Rourkela, Surat, Surathkal and Tiruchirapalli to recommend one woman executive from technology firms for appointment as chairpersons “to encourage eminent women professional leaders to envision NITs”.