Ashoka University appoints Somak Raychaudhury as vice-chancellor

Somak Raychaudhury will take over from Malabika Sarkar, who completed her term after serving as Ashoka University Vice-Chancellor.

Ashoka University appoints Somak Raychaudhury as vice-chancellor Somak Raychaudhury (Image: Official website)
Anu Parthiban | Nov 10, 2022 - 5:39 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Ashoka University appoints professor Somak Rahchaudhury as vice chancellor of the institute. He is an eminent Indian astrophysicist and is currently director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

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Raychaudhury will take over from Malabika Sarkar, who completed her term after serving as Ashoka University Vice-Chancellor. She took charge as VC in August 2019.

Somak Raychaudhury was selected by a search committee consisting of the Chancellor, Deans, faculty members, founders and trustees of Ashoka University. His joining date will be announced shortly, the university website said.

Somak Raychaudhury holds a PhD in Astrophysics from Churchill College, University of Cambridge and undergraduate degrees in physics from Trinity College at University of Oxford and Presidency College at University of Calcutta.

He was earlier the Head of Department of Physics and Dean of Sciences at Presidency University. He also held various positions at the University of Birmingham, UK; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lowell House at Harvard University; and the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.

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“Raychaudhury is one of India’s leading observational astronomers, and has made seminal discoveries using observations at radio, optical and X-ray frequencies. He pioneered the study of galaxy superclusters as the Universe’s largest structures, and has worked on exotic stars such as black holes in nearby galaxies,” the official statement read.

“He has developed innovative machine-learning algorithms for mining large astronomical datasets, and recently co-chaired the committee to compile the Vision document for the next decade of Astronomy research for the Government of India,” it said.

Introducing the new vice-chancellor, chancellor and founding vice-chancellor Rudrangshu Mukherjee said, “I am delighted that Professor Somak Raychaudhury is taking over as Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University. Professor Raychaudhury is a highly regarded scholar in the field of astrophysics and astronomical sciences. With his outstanding experience of leading several institutions and conducting exemplary research, he is well placed to take forward our mission to expand our ambitious Sciences and research agenda as the university embarks on its next decade. As we welcome Professor Raychaudhury, I would also like to thank Professor Malabika Sarkar for her distinguished service to Ashoka for the last several years. We are delighted that she will continue to be associated with Ashoka as Principal Academic Advisor.”

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Vice-Chancellor Designate Professor Somak Raychaudhury said, “It is an honour to take over as Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University which is today recognized nationally and internationally for its pioneering approach towards academic excellence, research and innovation and wide impact. Ashoka is already India’s premier interdisciplinary teaching and research institution, and I am delighted to join it at this exciting juncture. I look forward to working with the faculty, students, administrators, founders and partners to take Ashoka to the next level in its evolution into India’s best university.”

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