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Raj Kumar of BHU is Panjab varsity VC
CHANDIGARH : On July 21 Panjab University Chancellor and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, appointed Prof Raj Kumar, Dean and Head, InstituteProf Raj Kumar of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University, as the new Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University (PU) for a term of three years.

The term of the present Vice Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover ends on July 22.

A three-member search committee considered about 150 persons who had applied for the post.

The committee comprised  Dr. M. Ramchndran, IAS (Retd.), Chancellor, ICFAI University, Dehradun, Dr. Kapil Kapoor, Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla and Dr. M. Jagdeesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

The Committee submitted a panel of three names for the consideration of the Vice President of India and the Chancellor of the Panjab University on July 17, 2018 after considering various applications received and interviewing nine applicants.

MKU VC appointment sets aside by HC
CHENNAI : On June 14 the Madras High Court issued a writ of quo warranto and set aside the appointment of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) Vice-Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai.

The court said that the appointment made last year was based on flawed proceedings of the search committee.

Allowing a public interest litigation petition, the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar pointed out that two of the members of the search committee had complained that there were no meaningful deliberations and that they were forced to accept the candidate identified by the convenor.

New search committee

Further, taking note of the fact that a criminal case was also pending against Mr. Chellathurai, the judges set aside the appointment and ordered constitution of a new search committee (comprising Senate, Syndicate and Chancellor nominees) for selecting a panel of three names for appointment as the Vice-Chancellor of the university. The new search committee was ordered to make its recommendations in accordance with the Madurai Kamaraj University Act of 1965 and all other applicable statutes after due deliberation, consultations and discussions amongst its members and the convenor, and gave liberty to Mr. Chellathurai also to apply if he wished to do so.

The judges directed the search committee to evaluate his candidature, if he applies, uninfluenced by the present court proceedings.

AIIMS cardiologist
is ICMR chief
On April 10 the Union cabinet approved the appointment of Balram Bhargava, a senior cardiologist, as the director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Dr Bhargava,Balram Bhargava professor of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, is expected to take up the position vacated by Soumya Swaminathan, the former DG-ICMR, who is now with the World Health Organisation as deputy director-general.

Bhargava has made several contributions to biomedical innovation and research, including promoting the India Stanford Biodesign Programme, an initiative to develop low-cost implants and devices.

A government press note released on April 10 said the cabinet committee on appointments has approved Bhargava as DG-ICMR and secretary, department of health research, for three years, until the attainment of age of 60 years, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Vineet Joshi leaves CBSE, made NTA DG

NEW DELHI : Manipur cadre 1992 batch IAS officer Vineet Joshi was appointed Director-General of newly created National Testing Agency (NTA) on March 30. His appointment is for five years, anVineet Joshi order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.

Joshi who was Director General of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) here was shifted amidst paper leak controversy  and made boss of the NTA that would eventually handle all admission tests in the country.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in his Budget speech of 2017-18, announced the setting up of the NTA “as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions”.

The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had in November last year approved the setting up of the NTA.

The NTA will relieve the CBSE, AICTE and other bodies of the responsibility of conducting these entrance examinations.

As per its composition approved by the cabinet, the NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

“The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be the Director-General to be appointed by the government. There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions. The Director-General will be assisted by nine verticals headed by academicians/experts,” according to the proposed composition of the NTA.

Sonali Banerjee is Calcutta varsity VC
KOLKATA: Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee has been named as the new vice-chancellor of Calcutta University for a term of fourSonali Banerjee years.

The appointment comes after over two years of adhocism during which the university had a string of officiating bosses. In fact Sonali herself was the last of them.

"Banerjee was the first choice among three names proposed by the three-member VC search committee set up by the state in June. It was chaired by Dipak Mandal, the Chancellor's nominee and VC of Sidho Kanho Birsha University. The other two members of the committee were Burdwan University vice-chancellor Nimai Saha, who was the nominee of the state government, and the nominee of the CU senate Santanu Bhattacharya, director of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science," said education minister Partha Chatterjee.

Two others selected by the search committee were chairman of the College Service Commission Dipak Kar and registrar of Coochbehar Panchanan Barma University Dilip Roy.

The university had been without a de jure vice-chancellor ever since its former vice-chancellor Suranjan Das shifted to Jadavpur University.


 Ahmad returns to KU, Dhar gets Jammu varsity

JAMMU : On July 25 Jammu and Kashmir Governor-Chancellor N N Vohra appointed Prof Talat Ahmed and Prof Manoj Kumar Dhar vice-chancellors (Prof Manoj DharVCs) of the Kashmir and Jammu Universities respectively.

Dr Dhar took charge of the university soon after the appointment was announced.

Dhar, a genetic scientist, will replace Prof Ramji Dass Sharma, whose term expired on March 12. Dr Dhar, a Kashmiri pundit was professor and coordinator of the Bioinformatics Centre at University of Jammu. He has served on several key positions in the University.

He has also served as registrar of the university from 2013 to 2015, prior to his stint as Controller of Examination from 2012 to 2013.

Born in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on November 17, 1964, Dhar did his schooling and graduation from Baramulla and then completed his post graduation from University of Kashmir in 1986.

He did his M.Phil in 1987-88 and Ph.D in 1988-1992 from the University of Jammu.

Prof Talat Ahmad, a professor of Geology in Delhi University is returning toProf Talat Ahmad University of Kashmir after nearly four years where he had served as VC from June 1, 2011 to May 14, 2014.

After completing the term he was appointed vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi where he had been serving since 15th May, 2014 till date.

Prof Ahmad replaces Prof Khurshid Andrabi in University of Kashmir whose term expired in October 2017.

Bangalore varsity, RGUHS get VCs after 2 years

BANGALORE : After nearly two years Bangalore University and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) have had their vice-chancellors on June 12.

Governor-Chancellor of the two leading Karnataka universities Vajubhai Vala confirmed the appointments through a notification. Both the universities wereProf K R Venugopal functioning with interim VCs.

According to the notification the Principal of the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Prof K R Venugopal has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University. The post was vacant since February 2017 when the term of Dr B Thimmegowda came to an end. Since then, five interim vice-chancellors have held the post.

Ph.D. (Computer Science), Ph.D. (Economics), FIEEE (USA), Venugopal has been in Bangalore University for the last four decades. He has degrees in Law, Mass Communication, Electronics, Economics, Business Finance, Computer Science, Public Relations and Industrial Relations. He has authored and edited 64 books and published more than 600 papers in refereed International Journals and International Conferences. He has supervised 630 M.E. dissertations, 22 Ph.Ds and filed 101 Patents. He was a Post Doctoral Research Scholar and a visiting Professor at University of Southern California, USA.

Dr S Sachidanand has been appointed VC of RGUHS. He is the director of the medical education department and the director of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI). Dr M K Ramesh, registrar, evaluation, RGUHS was appointed as the interim director from July 2017. This was after the tenure of Dr K S Ravindranath came to an end.

According to the notification, the term for the new vice-chancellors will be for a period of three years or until he attains 65, or whichever is earlier.

Prof Eshwar Bhat has been appointed as the new V-C of the Karnataka State Law University.

GRC Reddy moves north, joins Sharda as VC

NEW DELHI : On June 6 Prof G R C Reddy joined Greater Noida based Sharda University, a private university, as its vice-chancellor.

Prof GRC ReddyEssentially an Andhrite, Prof Reddy's shifting to north has surprised many who do not know that he can speak and understand Hindi well.

Before joining Sharda, he was the Director of NIT Calicut, NIT Goa, Mentor Director of NIT Sikkim, Mentor Director of IIIT Kottayam, NIT Andhra Pradesh and also Director In-charge of NIT, Warangal during the period 2005-2017.

Prof.Reddy graduated from Osmania University with majors in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

He obtained his M.Sc. (Tech) in Engineering Physics and Ph.D from Faculty of Engineering and Technology, REC (NIT) Warangal.

His research area focuses on Optical Information Processing. He joined as a faculty in the Department of Physics at NIT Warangal in 1979 and became full Professor in 1995.

He was the principal investigator in a number of research projects sanctioned by CSIR, MHRD, and DRDO etc. He published over 80 research papers in various National and International journals/Conference proceedings.

He is a Fellow of Optical Society of India, Member of SPIE and OSA. He is also Fellow of Telangana Academy of Sciences.

Rakesh Bhatnagar is new BHU vice-chancellor

VARANASI : On March 28 the newly-appointed Banaras Hindu University (BHU) vice chancellor Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar formally took over charge of office following a brief puja and said he would work on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a world class academic atmosphere in theProf Rakesh Bhatnagar institution.

A professor of biotechnology at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Dr Bhatnagar's appointment was announced on March 23. The government had shortlisted three candidates, which included Devendra Kumar Gupta, a surgeon from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and scientist Ramakrishna Ramaswamy from JNU.

Former BHU vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi had gone on leave two months before his tenure ended following a ruckus on campus in September last year. Registrar Neeraj Tripathi had been holding additional charge as VC since.

Soon after taking over Dr Bhatnagar offered floral tributes to BHU founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya at his statue and subsequently held a press conference.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi always focuses on carrying out development of the nation, finding solutions to problems and making new schemes without paying attention to criticism. I will work on the same lines and focus on finding solutions to problems. Ensuring BHU’s place among the world’s best universities is my goal,” he said.

On rampant casteism and factionalism on the campus he said he knows the ways and means to deal with it.

11 NIT directors appointed in one go

By Sanjiv Dube
On October 17, 2017 the Ministry of Human Resource Development appointed 11 new directors for various National Institutes of Technology (NITs), including NIT-Warangal and NIT-Durgapur, which had been headless for over a year.

Computer Science professor at IIT Kharagpur, Dr Anupam Basu, has been appointed director of NIT Durgapur while N V Ramana Rao, Rector of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad has been made director of NIT Warangal. He will take charge on Monday.

A teacher of civil engineering, Rao has a Bachelors degree in engineering from Osmania University, M.Tech from IIT Delhi and Ph.D from the UK. His research interests include structural design.

The appointments to NIT Warangal and NIT Durgapur were delayed because of the cabinet reshuffle in July 2016, when Smriti Irani was shifted to Textile Ministry and Prakash Javadekar took over as her successor at HRD Ministry. The ministry had scrapped the panel of names finalised during Irani’s term as they were found unsuitable and the two posts were re-advertised.

While Rajiv Kumar Garg, a professor of industrial and production engineering at NIT Jalandhar, will now head NIT Arunachal Pradesh, Professor Sivaji Bandyopadhyay from the department of computer science and engineering at Jadavpur University, Kolkata is the new director of NIT Silchar.

NIT Raipur has got its new head from within the institute as A M Rawani, a teacher of mechanical engineering, has been elevated to the top post. Rakesh Sehgal from NIT Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh is the director of NIT Srinagar, which witnessed students protests in April last year, after some students from the Valley and some from outside the state clashed following India’s semi-final loss to West Indies in the T-20 World Cup.

Karunesh Kumar Shukla from MNIT, Allahabad will head NIT Jamshedpur, Pradip Kumar Jain from IIT (BHU) is the new director of NIT Patna, Shyam Lal Soni of NIT Jaipur will head NIT Uttarakhand, retired scientist S Venugopal has been appointed to NIT Nagaland and Harish Kumar Sharma, professor at SLIET in Punjab, is the new director of NIT Agartala.

The ministry had invited applications for 12 posts of NIT directors in early July last year but the process of appointment got delayed for one reason or the other.

The aspirants were expected to be less than 65 years of age and the appointment for the post is to be for a tenure of 5 years or till the candidate turns 70.

There are 31 NITs that offer 17,390 seats for undergraduate engineering programmes across the country.

4 VCs appointed in UP state universities
By Our Correspondent
Four Uttar Pradesh state universities which were headless for a long time got their vice-chancellors on May 24 and 26 last year - and surprisingly the lions share has gone to Lucknow.

The appointments were made by the UP Governor-Chancellor Ram Naik who initially imported VCs from his home state Maharashtra rather then relying on the son of the soil.

On May 24 Raj Bhawan announced the names of three appointees. Prof. Anil Shukla, Dean Student Welfare, Lucknow University was appointed VC of Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Rohelkhand University, Bareilly. Prof. V K Singh, the Pro VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University Lucknow was made vice-chancellor of Deendayal Upadhyay University, Gorakhpur and thirdly Prof Raja Ram Yadav was appointed vice-chancellor of Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Jaunpur.

Yadav was with the Physics department of Allahabad University earlier.

The announcement made by Juthika Patankar, principal secretary to Governor said that the tenure of the newly-appointed vice-chancellors will be three years from the date of taking charge.

The following day Raj Bhawan announced the name of the newly appointed vice-chancellor of Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh University, Faizabad. Professor and HoD of the Department of Public Administration, Lucknow University, Prof Manoj Dixit was named the VC of the university. He took charge on May 27.

Sunaina Singh appointed Nalanda varsity VC

BY Our Corresppondent
On March 28, 2017 Dr Sunaina Singh, vice-chancellor of English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad, was appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University. She is expected to join her new job in theSunaina Singh second week of April.

Her appointment was signed by the President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee who is the Visitor of the University.

With her appointment, months after Mr Mukherjee reconstituted the the university's governing board, the University has got its complete core team.

Dr Gopa Sabharwal, the first vice-chancellor, completed her term in November and since then Professor Pankaj Mohan was officiating as interim vice-chancellor. He resigned on the last day of March for "failing to uphold the trust" of the varsity community after sexual harassment charges surfaced against a postgraduate student.

"She has been appointed for a period of five years from the date on which she enters upon office," a press statement issued by the university said.

Sunaina, who hails from Rajasthan, has the distinction of being the first Indian woman to head the research institution Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute as its president.

She was appointed vice-chancellor of English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad in May 2012. In 2005, she received the post-doctoral faculty research award from the department of foreign affairs, Canada.

Sunaina was recently elected vice-president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for three years. The ICCR president is Lokesh Chandra, one of five members of the panel constituted by the Nalanda governing board last month for selection of a new vice-chancellor. The other members of the panel led by Chancellor Vijay P Bhatkar include former bureaucrat N.K. Singh, Arvind Sharma from McGill University in Canada, and Preeti Saran, secretary (east) in the ministry of external affairs.


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