Prof. Abhay Karandikar


Prof. Abhay Karandikar currently serves as the Secretary of the Department of Science & Technology,India. Earlier, he served as the Director of IIT Kanpur from 2018-2023; he was the Dean (Faculty Affairs) and the Institute Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has been instrumental in developing many path-breaking technologies and has been at the forefront of several large initiatives both at the institute and the national level. He is the founding member and chairman of the Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), India's standards body for telecom. He has also served as the coordinator of Tata Teleservices IIT Bombay Center of Excellence in Telecommunications (TICET) and the National Center of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security.


Dr. Abhay Karandikar currently serves as the Secretary of the Department of Science & Technology in New Delhi. He earlier served as the Director of IIT Kanpur from 2018-2023. Prior to this, he served as an Institute Chair Professor and Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at IIT Bombay. He received his master and doctorate degrees in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1988 and 1994, respectively.

Dr. Karandikar spearheaded a national effort in setting up Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), India's standards body for telecom with participation of all stakeholders. He was the founding member and former Chairman of TSDSI. He was also Member (Part-Time) of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from 2017- 2020. He serves on the board of several companies and has founded and mentored start-ups in telecom and networking. He was awarded with IEEE SA's Standards Medallion in December 2016 in New Jersey. His team also won Mozilla Open Innovation challenge prize in March 2017 for his work on rural broadband and digital empowerment in rural India. He is a member of Technology Innovations Group on 6G and chairs the 6G Spectrum Task Force setup by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.

In 5 years of his tenure at IIT Kanpur, the Institute underwent the largest expansion of campus infrastructure in its history. Formation of new academic infrastructure, new research facilities, increase in the number of new faculty, enhanced international collaborations, and industry partnerships took place. He brought consolidation of all incubation activities under a new not-for-profit Section 8 company-Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) to revamp the functioning of innovation and incubation pursuits of IIT Kanpur. During his tenure, Dr. Karandikar also brought considerable improvement in the alumni association with the institute. IITK Development Foundation was formed to meet the growing needs of adequate resource generation and to meet the expectations of the institute's donors and partners. He was also leading the efforts of IIT Kanpur to establish one-of-its kind Medical School on campus, The Gangwal School of Medical Sciences & Technology. The Medical School is envisaged to serve as a major hub for MedTech innovation in futuristic medicine.

Achievements and Honors

  • Mozilla Open Innovations Challenge for the Gram Marg solution for Rural Broadband, 2017.
  • Impactful Research Award, IIT Bombay, 2017.
  • IEEE Standards Medallion, 2016.
  • VASVIK Industrial Research Award, 2013.
  • NASI-Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award, 2012.
  • Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research Award, 2009.
  • Prof K Sreenivasan Memorial Award, 2006.
  • Prof. S.V.C. Aiya Memorial Award, 2006.
  • Dr. P.K. Patwardhan Technology Development Award, 2004.