Genetic engineer set to be new JNU VC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Genetic engineer set to be new JNU VC

Eminent genetic engineer Sudhir Kumar Sopory has emerged as a frontrunner for the post of the new vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), ending months of hectic lobbying for one of the most coveted posts in Indian academics. Charu Sudan Kasturi reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 17, 2010 01:23 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

Eminent genetic engineer Sudhir Kumar Sopory has emerged as a frontrunner for the post of the new vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), ending months of hectic lobbying for one of the most coveted posts in Indian academics.

The President of India - who is Visitor to all central higher educational institutions, including JNU - is expected to soon appoint Sopory from a panel of four names submitted by the human resource development (HRD) ministry.

Sources in the President's Secretariat told HT that the short-listed names, with Sopory as the recommended candidate, reached them on Thursday evening. But other government sources advised caution in suggesting Sopory as the Visitor's automatic choice.

The panel of four short-listed names does not include Hyderabad University vice chancellor Sayed Ehtasham Hasnain, who was considered by some to be a frontrunner for the post. JNU professors Zoya Hasan and Jayati Ghosh were also understood to have been in the race for the post.

The new VC will replace economist BB Bhattacharya, the outgoing VC, whose term ended in June this year.

Sopory, a recipient of the Bhatnagar Award, is an elected fellow of each of India's three science academies - the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

If picked by the President for the post, Sopory will not need to shift far from his current office. He is a senior scientist in plant molecular biology at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).

Sopory completed his masters in Jammu and Kashmir before moving to Delhi University for his PhD.