Brief profile of Dr. Khanindra Pathak, Independent Director

Dr. Khanindra Pathak

Dr. Khanindra Pathak was born in 1960 at Abhayapuri, Assam is currently Professor and Ex-HOD of the Department of Mining Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. Graduating in Mining Machinery from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad in 1983 he served Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Tamilnadu before joining as a postgraduate student of Open-cast Mining at ISM. Prof. Pathak served in the Surface Mining Division of CMPDIL for a brief period before returning back to his almamater in 1987 as Lecturer for teaching Drilling Technology at the Dept. of Mining Machinery, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. ISM sent Prof. Pathak for training at OIL, Duliajan in 1988, to teach oil and gas well drilling in Applied Geology and Applied Geophysics. On receiving the prestigious Commonwealth Academic Staff fellowship, Prof Pathak surrendered his nearly completed research on Drillability of Indian Coal Measure Rocks under late-Prof. A. K. Ghose and joined Royal School of Mines, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in 1993. His PhD research was in Modelling and Prediction of Environmental Noise due to Surface Mining and Quarrying and completed his period in 1996. In 1998 Prof. Pathak became Assistant Professor in the Department of Mining Engineering, ISM Dhanbad and in 2000 he was selected as Associate Professor in the Department of Mining Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. In July 2003, Dr Pathak was elevated to the Position of Professor. During February 2006 to December 2007 the Department of Mining Engineering, University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea invited Dr Pathak to serve as Professor and Head of the Department, which gave him the opportunity to work with ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.) System and Pedagogy as well as with the Chamber of Mining and Petroleum of PNG as member that enabled him to understand the international mining business.

Prof. Pathak has published more than 100 national and international papers on interdisciplinary subjects including surface mining, mining machinery and mine environment and also authored two technical books and contributed chapters in books published by reputed publishers. His research areas include application of Remote Sensing and GIS for resource and environmental management. Passionately involved in Pedagogic research project with the Centre of Educational Technology, IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Pathak has also contributed a chapter of Encyclopedia of Life Support System (EOLSS) published under a UNESCO project. Prof Pathak has carried out number of industrial projects in the country and abroad. The Environmental Protection Agency of Republic of Ireland through Imperial College, London implemented environmental noise modeling methods developed by Prof Pathak during his PhD for preparation of environmental noise map of the country in 2002. The concept of Equivalent Acoustic Centre for prediction and modelling of environmental noise for noise mapping and contouring using GIS was used for this purpose. Introducing the Remote Sensing and GIS for mine closure planning in India Prof. Pathak had started offering short term courses on mine closure planning since 2001, before mine closure planning became mandatory. A software named as UMDSS for RS-GIS based mine closure planning for Umrer Mines of WCL was developed through a sponsored project by Space Application Centre, ISRO in 2005. Prof. Pathak also developed a methodology of spatial evaluation of soil and water contamination and applied for NECL mines under a project sponsored by the Central Pollution Control Board. Prof. Pathak has also been propagating the concept of Integration of CSR and EMP in mining as a means of sustainable development in and around mining sites.

One of the approaches he has popularized in the iron ore sector of mining is the Vetiver System Approach for erosion prevention and slope stabilization. Joda Mines of Tata Steel adopted this approach and Prof. Pathak demonstrated besides stabilizing and preventing erosions and rain cuts in dump slopes how vetiver system technology can transform vast barren surfaces into a green vegetation covered area within six months. This approach is now implemented in Noamundi, Katamati mines of Tatasteel, Gua and Bolani mines of SAIL, Rungta Mining Corporation’s mines at Jijang and in many other places in India during the last four years Prof. Pathak has successfully demonstrated this approach in Jharkhand, Odisha and Goa. Experiments of Vetiver Grass for management of refinery waste water by bringing the concepts of hydroponic vetiver were also carried out by Prof. Pathak and IOCL's Bongaigaon refinery is now proud of being the first refinery in the country to trap oil from the wastewater in a pond using hydroponic Vetiver. Other initiatives of Prof. Pathak led to the development of patentable magnetic sponge for oil spill removal and laboratory scale development of super hydrophobic a super oleophilic powder. A student working with Prof. Pathak has developed now innovative technique of blasting to reduce the consumption of explosives. Well known in the Indian mining industry for offering executive training programs in emerging areas and training to the practicing engineers, Prof. Pathak is often invited to deliver lectures in different parts of the country and abroad. Besides his multi-disciplinary interests in the technical problems of mining industry, he is passionately involved in science of teaching and learning. Because of this interest, the Centre of Education Technology of IIT Kharagpur inducted him as Co-PI of the prestigious national project sponsored by MHRD on Developing suitable pedagogical methods for various classes, intellectual calibers and research in e-Learning. As a part of this project, he has been training faculty of different disciplines of engineering in many institutions including IIT Roorkee, NIT Warrangle, NIT Silchar, NIT Meghalyay, BITS Mesra etc. He is also invited to train even non-technical teachers to adopt pedagogy. Known for his expertise in academic quality matters, he was a nominated member of the Internal Quality Assesement Cell of Dibrugarh University and currently Chairman of the TEQIP-III implementation Governing Body of DUIET, Dibrugarh. Prof. Pathak believes in industry-Academic collaborative research. A research project funded by the European Union for the study of Coal Bed Methane was completed in 2015 under Prof. Pathak's coordination where he was instrumental in getting CMPDIL as a partner of a consortium coordinated from Imperial College, London, along with partners from the UK, Slovakia, Slovenia, China and Spain. Prof. Pathak felt the absence of focus on Petroleum Engineering and oil and gas industry at IIT Kharagpur and introduced a course on Petroleum Engineering in 2002 and later started a Students Chapter of SPE which had about 300 student members. It was one of the very active Chapter of SPE under his guidance. At present IIT Kharagpur has a Center of Excellence for Petroleum Engineering. Prof. Pathak also formed amongst students a Mineral Economics and Mineral Policy Research Group and started addressing the issues related to minor minerals and sand mining. Students interested in this group availed the opportunity of doing research in mineral economics in collaboration with Leoben University of Austria. Well-travelled in the UK, US, Australia, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Turkey, France and Italy, Fiji, Singapur, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium, China, Russia, Prof. Pathak is interested in social work and was actively involved in NSS at Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad from his student life. He was also President of the Kharagpur Chapter of the Bharat Vikas Parishad and actively involved in this organization from 2001. As a connoisseur of art and literature, he used to write, play and direct One Act Plays in Hindi at ISM, Dhanbad. Poetry is his passion and still composes romantic and patriotic verses. There are two story books in Assamese in his credit: Kakshychyut (Displaced from Orbit) and Nirjyax (Extract). In 2012 some of his poems in Assamese were compiled in a book "Anubhabor Rong (Colour of feelings)" by a literary body of Bongaigaon District of Assam. He has translated a number of Hindi Plays to Assmaese for an amateur drama group in Assam. Two such plays Adhe Adhure and Leheron ki Rajhans of the famous Hindi Dramatist, Mohan Rakesh translated by Prof. Pathak was selected by NSD in 2016 and 2018 for the North East Drama festival in Gangtok, Sikkim and National Drama Festival at Kolkata respectively.

Prof Pathak has received different scholarship and awards e.g.:

  • Recipient of National Scholarship (India) from 1976-1983 (received after standing Xth in HSLC of SEBA in 1976)
  • Recipient of Commonwealth Academic Staff Scholarship during 1993-1996
  • Smt Bala Tandan award for the year 2007-2008 for contribution in upgrading the quality of life in the mining environment by Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India (MGMI)
  • Sir John Dunn Medal from MGMI for 2008-2009
  • Life Time Achievement Award for teaching and research from Indian Mining and Engineering Journal June 2014.
  • National Geoscience Award 2014 (awarded on April 3, 2016 by the President of India, a citation and Rs 5 lakh)


Prof. Pathak was also a member of the Standardization Committee formed by MoEF for Environmental Clearance of Mining Projects and currently Chairman of Eastern Regional Committee of the AICTE. He does not hold any shares of Coal India Limited.