V K Saraswat new JNU Chan­cel­lor

The Indian Express - - THECITY - RITIKA CHO­PRA

SCI­EN­TIST AND for­mer direc­tor gen­eral of De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), V K Saraswat, was ap­pointed as Chan­cel­lor of Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity on Thurs­day.

Saraswat suc­ceeds for­mer ISRO chair­man K Kas­turi­ran­gan, who com­pleted his term on March 30 this year. Saraswat has been ap­pointed for a term of five years.

Although the JNU Act de­scribes the chan­cel­lor as the head of the in­sti­tu­tion, it is a tit­u­lar post. As the Chan­cel­lor of JNU, Saraswat will dis­charge func­tions such as pre­sid­ing over the con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony for award­ing de­grees.

Apart from be­ing a mem­ber of the JNU court, he will be the com­pe­tent au­thor­ity to sanc­tion leave to the vice-chan­cel­lor. He, how­ever, will play lit­tle role in the day-to­day ad­min­is­tra­tion of the univer­sity.

A PHD in com­bus­tion engi­neer­ing, Saraswat played a very sig­nif­i­cant role in the devel­op­ment of the coun­try’s first liq­uid propul­sion en­gine — Devil.

He is also cred­ited with the devel­op­ment of other rocket en­gines such as Prithvi, Dhanush and Pra­haar. He has held the posts of Sci­en­tific Ad­vi­sor to the De­fence Min­is­ter, and sec­re­tary to the Depart­ment of De­fence (re­search and devel­op­ment).

Saraswat was awarded the Pad­mashri in 1998, and Padmab­hushan in 2013. Cur­rently, he is also serv­ing as mem­ber of the NITI Aayog.

Saraswat’s ap­point­ment has come at a time when the univer­sity’s teach­ers and stu­dents are at log­ger­heads with the ad­min­is­tra­tion over changes to the ad­mis­sion pol­icy, which has led to a dras­tic cut in Mphil and PHD seats.

V K Saraswat, sci­en­tist and for­mer direc­tor gen­eral of the De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion, takes from K Kas­turi­ran­gan

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