Chetan Chauhan appointed as NIFT Chairperson
Former cricketer and two-time Member of Parliament Chetan Chauhan has been appointed the chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). The new post for Chauhan comes in addition to his responsibility as vice-president at Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Chauhan is also the director of Coral Newsprints. The appointment has managed to raise quite a few eyebrows at the appointment of someone so completely irrelevant to fashion. Chauhan, however, remained unfazed and was quoted in an interview to The Indian Express saying, "I am not dashing fashion-oriented because I have to go with what suits my age. But I like to dress up smartly and well.”
Though that seems to be the extent of his interest in fashion, for now, the 68-year-old is known to have expressed excitement at this new venture. The appointment has led to some concern over how Chauhan will manage his numerous and variable responsibilities.
He replied that it was not necessary for him to be present at NIFT every day, adding that his post at the DDCA will be receiving the major part of his attention. “Whenever an urgent matter is required to be addressed, I will be there. I will be going there once in a week. I will have an office there, but I think I will be spending more time at DDCA. I will have to devote some time to my company (Coral Newsprint), too,” he said.
As per the NIFT Act of 2006, the Chairperson of the Board should be “an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, to be nominated by the Visitor”, in this case, the President.
Chauhan was selected from a number of shortlisted names sent in by the Ministry of Textiles. He attributed his selection to his “experience in banking” and the fact that he worked as a Scale-4 officer with the Bank of Baroda for twenty-three years.
He followed the news of his appointment with a special mention of gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for giving him this opportunity.
The Board of Governers of which Chauhan has been appointed Chairperson is the primary decision-making body of the Institute' being directly responsible for its administrative and financial working.
The Chairperson is also required to be the reviewing authority for and be involved in the appointment of several senior academic and administrative posts. For this, Chauhan succeeds retired IAS officer Kiran Dhingra who was Chairperson before him.
Chauhan has lauded the work environment in his new job saying that he has already been to NIFT for a few “informal meetings”. The Board of Governers also consists of three other MPs. Speaking on what was discussed in these meetings, Chauhan said, “I met the members and briefed them and advised them that we should come up with solutions in the interest of the institution.”