In a surprising move, Chetan Chauhan, former cricketer and two-time Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, has been named as the chairperson of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), an English daily has reported.
“This is a Government of India appointment. The names [for the post of chairman] are sent by the ministry of textiles… preference is given to people in the party (BJP),” Chauhan told the daily.
Saying he had held “a few informal meetings” at his new office, he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for his appointment.
The 68-year-old is already handling a number of profiles – as the vice-president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and as a senior BCCI official. He is also running a cricket academy in Delhi’s Saket Sports Complex. Still he believes that he will “have time for all my roles”. “I will spend 60% of the time in DDCA, 30% at NIFT and 30% in my business,” he said.
According to the NIFT Act 2006, the chairperson has to be “an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, to be nominated by the Visitor” of the institute, which is the President. The appointment term is 3 years. The right-handed batsman in his career, has played 40 Tests with 11,000-plus first-class runs.
“They examined many names and ultimately chose me because I am an international sportsman and have experience in banking. I worked with the Bank of Baroda as a Scale-4 officer based in Delhi. For 23 years, I spent quality time in banking,” Chauhan was quoted as saying.
“My fashion sense is not being flamboyant but well-dressed,” he was quoted as 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.”
The previous chairperson of the NIFT Board of Governors was Kiran Dhingra, a retired IAS officer.