V K Saraswat appointed new JNU Chancellor
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 (नाममात्र का) post. As the Chancellor of JNU, Saraswat will discharge functions such as presiding over the convocation(दीक्षांत समारोह) ceremony for awarding degrees. Apart from being a member of the JNU court, he will be the competent (सक्षम) 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 (दहन) 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.
Definitions of titular नाममात्र का)
holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority.
the queen is titular head of the Church of England
synonyms: nominal, in title only, in name only, ceremonial, honorary, so-called, token, puppet
denoting a person or thing from whom or which the name of an artistic work or similar is taken.
the work's titular song
synonyms: eponymous, identifying