The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Abhay Karandikar, director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, for the post of secretary at Department of Science and Technology. Karandikar is expected to serve from the date he assumes charge of the office to when he turns 60, or until further instructions.

Karandikar will be taking over from Rajesh S Gokhale, who assumed additional charge in July 2023, over his role as the secretary of the Department of Biotechnology. Gokhale was appointed after S Chandrasekhar’s resignation as the secretary of Department of Science and Technology , six months prior to the end of his tenure.

Karandikar, a wireless communication expert, developed the concept of the frugal 5G network to provide affordable rural broadband connectivity, and contributed to the telecom policy and regulations included in national-level telecom policies. He was also at the forefront of the effort to set up the Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TDSI), where he served as its founding member and chairman.

Karandikar also served as a part time member of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from January 2017 to January 2020. Additionally, he was also a member of the Technology Innovation Group on 6G and leads the 6G Spectrum Task Force set up by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).