She succeeds M Jagadesh Kumar, who was appointed chairperson of the University Grants Commission, after a stormy tenure.
“The immediate focus of my administration would be to provide clean administration, student-friendly and gender-sensitive environment for academic excellence,” the new V-C said. “We would strive to implement [National Education Policy] 2020 the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister especially in interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary areas of studies, JNU rising to greater heights of academics and research. The focus would [be] in constructing Indo-centric narratives,” she added.
Dr. Pandit has previously been a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, the UGC Committee on Higher Education and Indicators, and several think tanks, according to her prole on the university website. She is currently President of the Indian Political Science Association and has been a resource person for the Academic Staff Colleges and the Military Intelligence Training School in Pune, providing insight into the Asia Pacific region and India’s security perceptions.
Born in the erstwhile USSR, where her mother taught Tamil and Telugu at the Leningrad Oriental Faculty Department, Dr. Pandit hails from Chennai and is a gold medallist graduate of the University of Madras. She is multilingual, speaking Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English.
Dr. Pandit has made history as the first woman V-C in JNU’s 50th anniversary year. Her appointment is said to have the blessings of PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “JNU is indeed in safe, competent hands now with this brilliant mind at its helm”, say many JNU students and teachers.
In sum, her appointment is indeed the recognition of her academic caliber and administrative experience.
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