New Delhi, July 6 :
Ashoka University has appointed eminent sociologist and writer Andre Beteille as chancellor, a senior varsity official said.
A Padma Bhushan awardee and a fellow of the British Academy, Beteille as chancellor will lead the governing body of Ashoka University, which is scheduled to start its first batch of undergraduate programmes next month, one of the varsity founders Pramath Raj Sinha said.
The university has also appointed historian and former editorial page editor of Telegraph Rudrangshu Mukherjee as vice chancellor. Mukherjee will lead the board of management and academic council and also guide the overall strategic direction and lead the day-to-day operations of the university, Sinha said.
“Ashoka University is an attempt to build India’s finest university. We are privileged to have two pre-eminent Indian academics as the university’s leaders and are most inspired that both Ashoka’s chancellor and vice-chancellor will also teach at the university, setting the right tone for its future,” said Sinha.
Beteille is one of India’s leading sociologists and writers. He is particularly well known for his studies of the caste system in south India. He is a national research professor and professor emeritus of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics.
“I am pleased to be associated with Ashoka University. I see this new initiative as a much needed intervention in the Indian higher education space. I look forward to collaborating with bright young minds at Ashoka and helping them follow their passions,” said Beteille, reacting on his new appointment.
Ashoka University, a philanthropic initiative of a group of entrepreneurs, has a fully-residential 25-acre campus located at Rajiv Gandhi Education City, Haryana. The university is supported by more than 80 entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and boasts of a world-renowned academic council.
Key founders and trustees of Ashoka University include Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder of Naukri.com; Ashish Dhawan, founder, Central Square Foundation and former senior managing director, ChrysCapital; Vineet Gupta, managing director, Jamboree Education; and Pramath Raj Sinha, managing director, 9.9 Media and founding dean of Indian School of Business.
“With limited opportunities and over-emphasis on ‘utility’, the Indian higher education system has been failing its students. Our students need an education that is at par with global standards and is able to help them imbibe skills of the 21st century. I am confident that Ashoka University can help bridge this gap,” said Mukherjee, while reacting on his appointment as vice-chancellor of the new university.