President Pranab Mukherjee appointed IIT professor Jagdeesh
Kumar as JNU's vice-chancellor. He was selected from a panel which had four
names including scientist VS Chauhan, who was reported to be HRD minister
Smriti Irani's preferred choice to lead the prestigious institute.
The HRD ministry headed by Irani had sent four names to the
President. She clearly indicated that Chauhan was her preference who is a
scientist working in the fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology and
known for his contributions to the development of a vaccine for malaria.
Looking to his background- he has been awarded Padma Shri by
the erstwhile UPA government and is a member of the University Grants
However, VC of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was awarded
to IIT-Delhi professor Kumar by the president who ignored Irani's
There are sources which say that usually the norm is
followed by giving preference to HRD ministry's option but president had no
The other names in
the panel were- academicians RNK Bamezai and Ramakrishna Ramaswamy indicating
that all four had strong backgrounds.
To this, everyone (official spokespersons of the President's
office as well as the HRD ministry) chose not to comment.