Parul Sharma

5 faculty members (both former, present) get Padma awards

NEW DELHI: The New Year has certainly begun on a good note for Jawaharlal Nehru University here.

As many as five members (both former and present) of the JNU faculty figure in the list of the Padma awardees this year, including three Padma Bhushan winners.

Eminent social scientist T. K. Oommen who retired from JNU in 2002 after 31 long years, is being felicitated with Padma Bhushan. Prof. Oommen, who holds several important Chairs, has authored many books and published many research papers in top professional journals.

Former JNU Vice-Chancellor Asis Datta has also been chosen for Padma Bhushan in the field of science and engineering. Dr. Datta served as a professor as well as Dean of JNU’s School of Life Sciences and Rector before taking charge of the highest office on the campus.

Known for his contributions in basic and applied biochemistry and molecular biology for more than three decades with three Indian and four US patents, he is presently the director of the National Centre for Plant Genome Research.

Both Prof. Oommen and Dr. Datta are professors emeritus with JNU.

Former Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research N. K. Ganguly too has been bestowed with a Padma Bhushan. He is currently an adjunct professor of JNU, according to Rector Rajendra Prasad.

Also bringing laurels to the prestigious institution are University Grants Commission chairperson Sukhadeo Thorat and Jammu University Vice-Chancellor Amitabh Mattoo, who have been honoured with Padma Shri in the field of literature and education.

Both Prof. Thorat and Prof. Mattoo have taken leave from JNU to carry out their respective assignments.

A professor of economics at JNU, Prof. Thorat obtained his Ph.D from this University. His area of research has been agricultural development, poverty, labour studies, caste and economic discrimination and the economic problems of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes.

Prof. Mattoo has been one of India’s leading thinkers and writers on international relations. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, University of Notre Dame and University of Illinois. He was chairperson of the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament at JNU before assuming charge as Vice-Chancellor.

“We are very happy with these honours. It proves JNU’s excellence at not only the academic level but also the national level,” said JNU Vice-Chancellor B. B. Bhattacharya.