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Kapil Kapoor named chairman of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla

Kapil Kapoor delivering a lecture in 2016

Kapil Kapoor delivering a lecture in 2016   | Photo Credit: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

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The former JNU professor replaces Chandrakala Padia

Veteran academic Kapil Kapoor will be the next chairperson of the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) at Shimla, replacing Chandrakala Padia.

A widely-respected academic, Mr. Kapoor taught for decades at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as a professor at the Centre for Linguistic and English Studies till 2005. He was concurrently professor at the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies at JNU, which is now the School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies.

He is at present Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya at Wardha.

“He made an epistemological cut in English Studies as the pioneer in India in introducing key texts of Indian thought in English Studies as far back as the 1970s, thus reversing the theory-text study hierarchy in English Studies that leaned towards western texts and ideas,” said Dhananjay Singh, a professor at JNU.

He is also known for his command on western linguists like Noam Chomsky, says a former student.

“He is equally well-versed in three subjects: English Literature, Linguistics and Sanskrit,” the student added. “He co-edited an anthology on Indo-Irish writings, of which Seamus Mac Mathuna was the editor. The book brought together key texts and writings from India and Ireland from the ancient times to the 20th century that responded to each other’s culture, history and traditions.”

Prof. Kapoor also edited a two-volume book on Indian Knowledge Systems, which is considered a pioneering work in bringing Indian knowledge in focus.

He was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Linguistics and English Studies in 1977. He also set up the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies in JNU, as also the Greek Chair in the university. He was also member of the Governing Body of IIAS, Shimla, from 1999 to 2004.

Prof. Kapoor also has the distinction of having delivered a lecture in the House of Lords in UK on an invite from there.

He guided dissertations and thesis on Sanskrit texts like Panini’s Ashtadhyaya, Patanjali’s Yoag Sutra, Bharata’s Natyashastra, Anandvardhan’s Dhvanyaloka and Buddhist Jataka tales.

He is also considered an authority on Abhinavgupta, an 11th century philosopher of Kashmir Saivism. He is also authoring a book on the key manuscripts of Abhinavgupta.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:12:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kapil-kapoor-named-chairman-of-indian-institute-of-advanced-studies-shimla/article22804649.ece

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