The Rajasthan government has appointed senior journalist Sunny Sebastian as the Vice-Chancellor of the Harideo Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication and the former Indian Police Service officer, M. L. Kumawat, as the Vice-Chancellor of the Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice.

Bills for establishment of the two universities, along with seven others, were passed in the State Assembly’s monsoon session, which concluded here over the weekend. Governor Margaret Alva, who is also the Chancellor of the universities, issued orders on Saturday for the appointment of Mr. Sebastian and Mr. Kumawat for a period of three years.

Mr. Sebastian, 56, is a Deputy Editor with The Hindu in Jaipur, while Mr. Kumawat, 63, has served as the Director-General of the Border Security Force and Chairman of the Rajasthan State Public Service Commission. The headquarters and campus of the journalism university will be built in Jaipur and that of the police university in Jodhpur.

A 1972 batch IPS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, Mr. Kumawat is considered an expert on internal security with a prolonged experience in dealing with Naxalism and terrorism. He was appointed as the Special Home Secretary by the Union Government in 2007 and was earlier awarded the President’s Police Medal in 1997 for distinguished services.

Mr. Sebastian has completed 31 years in journalism, having worked with the Delhi Press, Surya India, Delhi Recorder, Free Press Journal, Rajasthan Patrika and The Hindu. He has been in Rajasthan since 1984, covering various aspects of the desert State, including socio-political issues, heritage, movements, sustainable development, environment and wildlife.

He joined The Hindu in Jaipur in 1986 and became Special Correspondent in 1993. Barely a month ago, he was made the newspaper’s Deputy Editor. Born in Kottayam, Kerala, Mr. Sebastian earned his postgraduate degree in English literature from Indore Christian College of Devi Ahilya University, Madhya Pradesh, and was the first recipient of the Pandit Jhabarmal Patrakarita Puraskar in 1999.

Mr. Sebastian also holds position in the Rajasthan State Wildlife Board in an advisory capacity, and is a member of the State government’s committee to recommend artistes’ names for the Padma Shri and the committee to look into implementation of Journalists’ Wage Board recommendations.

As the first Vice-Chancellor of the newly established journalism university named after the former Chief Minister, Harideo Joshi, Mr. Sebastian will have the onerous responsibility of devising the curriculum, evolving admission norms and appointing an efficient faculty.

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