V K Saraswat to Head JNU

The HRD Ministry has named scientist and former DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat as the next chancellor of JNU.

A full-time member of NITI Aayog, Saraswat will be replacing ISRO chief Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan  who showed much interest in language, literature and cultural studies and whose five-year term ended on March 30. Though Saraswat is yet to receive official communication, his name has been finalised for the varsity’s top position, according to sources in the ministry.

A Ph.D. in combustion engineering, Saraswat was instrumental in the development of the country’s first liquid propulsion engine — Devil.

Not only this achievement credits him, Saraswat has played a lead role in the development of other rocket engines such as Prithvi, Dhanush and Prahaar. He has significant posts, one being the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, and the other-secretary to the Department of Defence (research and development).

The NEXT chancellor

Apart from this accolades have also decorated his glittering career. Saraswat has been honored with the Padmashri in 1998, and Padmabhushan in 2013. Saraswat’s appointment comes at a very crucial juncture. A time, when the university’s teachers and students are all ends up with the administration for the changes it has made to the admission policy, leading to a drastic cut in MPhil and Ph.D. seats.

Though this being a top post, Saraswat’s role is curtailed with little to do in day to day administration. He will preside over the convocation ceremony for awarding degrees and will be the final authority to grant the vice-chancellor a leave.

According to him education and research should be of social importance and the knowledge generation should go beyond the reins of individual excellence, churning benefits for the development of the society. He has emphasized on developing an ecosystem that can aid innovation, value addition and research by working in coordination with other universities in the country and abroad.


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