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New VCs in Haryana universities
CHANDIGARH : Haryana Governor-Chancellor Jagannath Pahadia appointed Major-Gen Ranjit Singh (retd) as Vice-Chancellor of Chaudhary Ranbir Singh University, Jind and Prof Asha Kadyan as Vice-Chancellor of Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila University, Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat, said a Raj Bhawan source on July 26.

Dr S K Gakhar of Centre for Biotechnology, MDU, Rohtak, would be the new Vice-Chancellor of Chaudhary Bansi Lal University, Bhiwani.

These Vice-Chancellors would serve a term of three
years. Dr RS Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa, has been given the additional charge of Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, the souce said.

Furqan Qamar is
AIU Secy Gen

The Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh Dr Furqan Qamar has been appointed a full-time Secretary-General of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) here.

His appointment has come after a very long gap during which the AIU was run through remote control by officiating persons. The last Secretary-General, a lady professor was sent on long leave following a bitter controversy.

Dr Quamar is essentially a professor of management studies in Jamia Millia Islamia. He has a wide experience and was posted in the Planning Commission where is did some monumental studies in university funding and fiscal administration.

He has been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, where he had had some "memorable first-hand experience of a unitary state university." Subsequently is was appointed the founder vice-chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra. 

The AIU acts as the representative body of Indian universities.

Gautam Biswas is IIT Guwahati director
GUWAHATI : On September 6, 2013 Prof Gautam Biswas, director of Central Mechanical Engineering and Research Institute (CMERI) Durgapur, took over as the newProf Gautam Biswas director of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G).

He replaces Gautam Barua, whose tenure as the director concluded on June 30. Barua had served on the top position for 10 years.

Essentially a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Biswas was the occupant of GD and VM Mehta Endowed Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He became professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1995, a statement from IIT-Guwahati said.

Known for his research activities, Prof. Biswas has worked in the areas of computational fluid mechanics and heat transfer. He has been involved in numerical modelling of convective transport and conjugate problems in complex geometries. He has also developed techniques for handling free surface flows, bubble formation in film boiling, dynamics of falling drops and turbulent transport.

He is a Fellow of various prestigious and scholastic academies of national and international repute such as Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (IAS), Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is also a
Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, India.

He is one of the Indian representatives at the International Union for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM).

He delivered the prestigious Prof CNR Rao Lecture in 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the esteemed JC Bose National Fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India.

Devi Lal varsity VC assumes charge
SIRSA : On August 2, 2013 Dr Radhe Shyam Sharma took over as the Vice-Chancellor of Chaudhary Devi Lal University here in Sirsa.

Dr Sharma was working as principal of Pandit Chiranji Lal Sharma Government College, Karnal, before taking up this assignment.

He has remained a member of the Council of Higher Education, Haryana; a member of Kurukshetra University Court and some other prestigious organisations in the past.

Dr Sharma said his priority would be to provide impetus to research activities in the university.


 P K Radhakrishnan is Kerala varsity vice-chancellor

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Dr P.K. Radhakrishnan, a Professor at the School of Chemical Sciences of the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam has been appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Kerala.

Prof P K RadhakrishnanThe appointmwnt, made by the Kerala Governor-Chancellor Nikhil Kumar, was formally announced on February 22.

A member of the Executive Council of the Central University of Kerala, Dr. Radhakrishnan has been on several Boards of Studies apart from being a Senate member at the M.G. University and Cusat, Kochi. He was a member of the Syndicate and Academic Council of the M.G. University as well.

A native of Karunagapally, Dr. Radhakrishnan had got admission to study Medical Sciences (MBBS) under the open merit category after his pre-degree, but his love for Chemistry made him turn down that option.

He was the first rank holder, both for B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Kerala. He is also a recipient of the Dr. S. Vasudev Memorial Prize in 1991 for best research work from the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment.

Ajoy Kumar Ray gets second 4-year term at BESU

CALCUTTA : On August 29 Prof Ajoy Kumar Ray was appointed vice-chancellor of Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) for theAjoy Kumar Ray second consecutive term.

BESU Chancellor M.K. Narayanan, approved the appointment, state government sources said.

Ray will remain at the helm of the university for a full four-year term. He had taken over as Besu vice-chancellor in 2009. After his term ended in February, he was given a six-month extension, which was to expire on August 31.

“My priority is perpetuating excellence in engineering education and research,” Ray said, adding that his aim was to upgrade Besu to an IIEST (Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology). He has initiated a revision of the master’s curriculum and wants to improve research facilities.

The government had set up a three-member-search committee comprising M. Anandakrishnan, chairman of IIT Kanpur, Srikumar Banerjee, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, and Sugata Marjit, the chairman of the West Bengal Council of Higher Education, to select a VC. Anandakrishnan was the Chancellor’s nominee, Banerjee the BESU court nominee and Marjit the government nominee.

The panel drew up a short list of three names, including Ray’s, three weeks ago. The government forwarded the list of names to the Chancellor.

Katoch elevated to Palampur varsity VC's post

PALAMPUR : Dr Krishan Kumar Katoch, Director, Extension Education at  Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya,
(CSKHPKV), Palampur has been elevated and appointed Vice-Chancellor ofKrishan Kumar Katoch the university.

His appointment was announced by the state government on July 31. His term will be of three years or till he attains the age of 65 years.

Sources here said Katoch's name was cleared by the Governor-Chancellor of  Himachal Pradesh. Katoch was invited to Raj Bhawan in Shimla on July 31 informed about his appointment.

The previous two VCs of the university, including Tej Pratap and
SK Sharma, had come from the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR).

Katoch was born in the Jawalamukhi area of Kangra district. He had his school education from the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education. He did BSc and MSc in agriculture from the Centre of Punjab Agriculture University at Palampur in 1976 and 1978, respectively.

He did his PhD in agriculture, physics and soil physics.

Katoch started his professional career as soil scientist in the ICAR at Almora in UP. He joined Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University at Palampur as an extension specialist in 1987. Since then he has been working in the Extension Education Department of the university in various positions. Presently, he has been serving as Director, Extension Education.

He has to his credit eight books and 29 research publications. He is credited with helping in opening up Kishan Call Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendra's in Himachal Pradesh.

Waman Kendre to head National School of Drama

NEW DELHI : Marathi theatre veteran Waman Kendre will be the new director of the National School of Drama (NSD), sources have said after aWaman Kendre year’s vacuum and stage-like twists to fill the slot.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, picked actor-director Kendre over actress Arundhati Nag, favoured by a search panel of stage doyens, and Abdul Latif Khatana, recommended by the Culture Ministry.

The panel of Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad and others had shortlisted Nag (56), Kendre (54) and Abdul Latif Khatana (52) in November last year. The panel said the names were in order of priority but specified they preferred Nag, though she had not applied for the job.

Nag works in Hindi and Kannada films and runs a cultural institute. She won the best supporting actress National Award for Paa, playing Vidya Balan’s mother.

But earlier this month, the Culture Ministry forwarded the name of Khatana, a Kashmiri and an NSD alumnus, with sources saying he was minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch’s pick.

Last week, the file went to the Prime Minister’s Office and details were sought about the three candidates suggested by the search panel. “The government must have felt that since Nag had not even applied, she should not be picked. Kendre was next, so he was the obvious choice,” a senior ministry official said.

Kendre is an NSD post-graduate with research in folk theatre of Kerala. He belongs to the nomadic Vanjara tribal community of Marathwada and was one of the leading lights of the Dalit theatre movement in Maharashtra in the late 70s.

Amitabha De is new director of IIM Shillong

SHILLONG : On June 17 Prof Amitabha De took over as the new director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong here.

De was a professor at National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, before joining as the director of IIM Shillong.

He holds an M.Sc and a Ph.D degree from the University of Calcutta and has widespread expertise in ergonomics, human factors engineering, biomechanics, executive work and work stress, and human factors in technology management.

The post had been lying vacant for nearly a year, since Prof AK Dutta, retired in July last year.

Prior to joining IIM Shillong, Prof De has undertaken various research projects sponsored by Government of India and various industries related to his expertise. He has also taken on various consulting assignments guiding corporate houses and encompassing industries like manufacturing, petroleum, airline, and chemicals. He was also member in two national committees in the Ministry of Labour & Welfare, Government of India.

D N Jena appointed VC of Utkal culture varsity

BHUBANESHWAR : On May 20 sociologist Debendra Nath Jena took over as the vice-chancellor of Utkal University of Culture here.

D N JenaThe post had been lying vacant after the tenure of Amiya Kumar Pattanayak expired in February. Culture secretary Ashok Tripathy had been holding the additional charge of the post.

Reacting to the news, Jena, former registrar of Utkal University, said filling vacant teaching posts and infrastructure development topped his priority list.

Jena, who retired as a professor of sociology from Utkal University (UU) this year said “I will prepare an agenda and submit it to the state government for approval,” he said, adding that he was also looking into the completion of the university’s permanent campus at Madanpur on the outskirts of the city.

Around 26 applicants, mostly faculty members from the state varsity, and some outsiders, had applied for the top post at the culture university.

A three-member search-cum-selection committee including parliamentarian Kapila Vatsyayana, former Sambalpur University VC and Odissi dancer Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi and litterateur Sitakant Mohapatra had shortlisted three candidates.

Chairman of the State Council for Educational Research and Training Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, and professor of ancient history at Utkal University Sadasiba Pradhan were also in the race for the post.

S B Nimse takes over as Lucknow varsity VC

LUCKNOW : On May 13 the newly-appointed Lucknow University vice-chancellor S B Nimse formally took over the top office of the university here.

Chancellor B L Joshi had, on April 29, appointed him as the vice-chancellor, choosing him from a panel of three names. He succeed IAS offiS B Nimsecer G B Pattanaik who had been officiating as the VC since November 2, 2012.

Pattanaik who was the principal secretary to the Governor-Chancellor, the faculty feared, may be confirmed as the VC, but the UGC regulations had made the move difficult.

Nimse, the VC of Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University (SRTMU), Vishunpuri, Nanded, Maharashtra since July 2008 has accepted a difficult assignment.

A Ph.D in mathematics, with 34 years of teaching experience, Nimse is a member of the governing council of the Consultancy Development Centre, DSIR and also a member of the steering committee for XII plan on higher education, Planning Commission.

Nimse's appointment has activated the campus whisper-mongers, each giving his own explanation to the new Maratha connection, but investigations revealed that it was Prof R C Sobti the president of the Indian Science Congress who probably showed Nimse the way to Lucknow University. 

The Chancellor by another order appointed V K Gupta as the new vice-chancellor of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University (RMLAU), Faizabad.

Gupta, at present, is the head of chemistry department, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. He will succeed officiating VC Prof PK Sinha from department of economics, RMLAU.

Prof Sinha was appointed on November 1, 2012, for a period of six months after Prof R C Saraswat resigned on October 30 citing personal reasons.

A B.Sc from Meerut University in 1972, Gupta did MSc in physical chemistry from University of Roorkee in 1975. In 1979, he joined PhD in physical chemistry from University of Roorkee.

Sobti takes over at Lucknow's Ambedkar varsity

LUCKNOW : On January 21,2013 Prof R C Sobti, former vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh formally took over as the Vice-Chancellor ofR C Sobti Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow.

The university is a Central university with President Pranab Mukherjee as its Visitor. His appointment is for a term of five years and he replaces Prof B Hanumaiah who was on an extension after the completion of his tenure since June 17, 2012.

On his first day, the Dr Sobti interacted with students, teachers and employees. He said effort would be made to take the university to a new high.

Two-time vice-chancellor of Panjab University Chandigarh Prof Sobti's  appointment was made on January 15.

Well-connected Dr Sobti was appointed Panjab University vice-chancellor in 2006 for a term of three years. Before his term could conclude he was appointed, in February 2009, the first VC of the newly established Central University of Himachal Pradesh but he did not join because he got a second term in Panjab University.

After the conclusion of his second term on July 22, (though he was in the race for a third term) he was offered vice-chancellorship of the newly established DAV University in Jalandhar which he hasn't joined till date.

On January 6 he was elected the general president of Indian Science Congress Association for the 101st session to be held on January 3-7, 2014.  He is a member of the executive body of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore and the chairman of the governing body of National Council of Science Museums.

He holds a doctoral degree in Biotechnology and has supervised 44 PhDs and is currently working on eight others.


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