JNU appoints first woman VC Santishree Pandit

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NEW DELHI: Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, a professor at Savitribai Phule Pune University, has been appointed as the first woman vice-chancellor of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
An alumnus of JNU, Pandit did her MPhil and PhD from its School of International Studies between 1986 and 1990. She has been appointed for five years from the date she assumes charge as the 13th vice-chancellor of JNU.
In exercise of the powers conferred upon him by the statutes of the JNU, the President of India [Ram Nath Kovind] in his capacity as the Visitor of JNU has been pleased to appoint...Pandit... as the Vice Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University,” the Union education ministry said in a letter to the JNU registrar.
Pandit has been appointed for five years from the date she assumes the charge as the 13th vice-chancellor of the JNU.
Pandit, a professor in the politics and public administration department at the university in Pune, will succeed M Jagadesh Kumar, who was appointed as higher education regulator University Grants Commission chairperson on Friday.
An alumnus of JNU, Pandit did her MPhil and PhD from its School of International Studies between 1986 and 1990. Pandit did her master’s in political science from Chennai’s Presidency College. She has also taught at Goa University.
Pandit, 59, was born in St Petersburg (Russia), where her mother was a professor of Tamil and Telugu at the Leningrad Oriental Faculty Department . Her predecessor’s tenure at JNU coincided with the 2016 sedition charges against student leaders for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans, protests against hostel fee increase, and an attack on campus by a masked mob in January 2020, which left several students and teachers injured. Kumar remained at loggerheads with the students’ and teachers’ unions over issues such as alleged seat cuts in research courses, the manner in which meetings of statutory bodies were conducted, and alleged irregularities in faculty appointments.

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