JNU Vice Chancellor Professor M Jagadesh Kumar has been appointed as Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
According to the Ministry of Education, Kumar has been appointed as the chairman of the apex higher education regulator of the country. for a period of five years.
'The Central government has appointed M Jagadesh Kumar as UGC Chairman for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest,' a senior MoE official said.
The post of the UGC chairman fell vacant on December 7 after Prof D P Singh, who had taken charge in 2018, resigned upon turning 65. The post of the vice-chairman of the higher education regulator is also vacant.
Kumar is currently holding the charge as acting VC of the varsity after his five year term expired last year. The Ministry is yet to appoint his successor at JNU.
As the next UGC chairman, Kumar will now play a pivotal role in implementing the new education policy (NEP) in higher education institutions.
Widely regarded for his knowledge in electronic engineering and associated areas including nanoelectronic devices, nanoscale device modeling and simulation, innovative device design and power semiconductor devices, Kumar obtained MS(EE) and PhD (EE) degrees from the Dept of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. He did his post doctoral research with Prof. David J. Roulston at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Before his appointment as JNU VC, Kumar was a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Delhi. He was a NXP (Philips) Chair Professor established at IIT Delhi by Philips Semiconductors, Netherlands (now NXP Semiconductors India Pvt Ltd).
Kumar was also the chief investigator of the Nano-scale Research Facility (NRF) at IIT Delhi and at the Center of Excellence for Nanodevices and Systems funded by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
From the sedition row of 2016 and lockdown of his office multiple times, Kumar's tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of the university has been marred by controversies arising of frequent acts of hooliganism and protests by left-dominated student union of the university.
Kumar attempted to usher in a semblance of discipline in the institution by to making attendance compulsory for the first time in its history.
Kumar, who was made the Vice Chancellor in January 2016, had his first brush with controversy as the VC just a week after his appointment when students locked horns with the administration over holding of an event against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
(With Inputs from PTIo
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