Laying emphasis on fostering a culture of inclusivity, transparency, consultation with students and teachers, collegiality and mutual respect, Prof Sudhir Jain, who assumed office as 28th vice-chancellor of BHU on Friday, said that he would work to elevate the BHU to the world’s great universities.

Interacting with media persons in the maiden press conference as BHU VC, Prof Jain invoked BHU founder Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and his vision of inclusivity, nobility and excellence from over a century earlier.

“Students are at the ‘heart’ of the educational enterprise and enhancing their educational experience and community life with new curricular and co-curricular initiatives would be ‘the highest priorities of our faculty and my administration’,” asserted BHU VC.

Prof Jain exhorted BHU faculty and staff to step up individually, collectively and collaboratively to the moment to realise the University’s potential and promise. Prof Jain said that research will be promoted with the cooperation of research scholars and faculties. At the same time, the required ecosystem for research will be enhanced.

He appealed to all the alumni of BHU to donate at least 2% of their annual income or whatever amount they could afford to the BHU and help elevate the BHU to the world’s great universities.

Prof Jain thanked BHU Rector Prof VK Shukla, who has been serving as officiating vice chancellor for the past about ten months, for his services and contributions to the BHU.

Prof Jain is an internationally reputed scholar of earthquake engineering and a visionary academic administrator. He most recently served as the founding director of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar for 12 years. He was conferred the Padma Shri for distinguished service in the fields of science and engineering in 2020.

Dr Jain has made seminal contributions to earthquake engineering practice and education in India. He was instrumental in the development of several important seismic codes in India and has trained thousands of professional engineers and college teachers in earthquake engineering through his continuing education programmes. He established the National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering (NICEE) at IIT Kanpur and developed the National Programme on Earthquake Engineering Education (NPEEE), supported by the Government of India. He has served as a consultant for several major projects, such as bridges and petrochemical pipeline, and has published more than 150 scholarly papers. His research interests include the study of damaging earthquakes, reinforced concrete buildings, bridges, and seismic codes.

Dr Jain was elected as an international member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2021 (one of the only 18 elected from India to date) and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee for Academic or Research Excellence in 2019.

He served as President of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering from 2014-18 (the second Indian to hold this position) and was elected as an honorary member of the Association in 2021. He was elected Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and conferred Life Membership by the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) in 2013.

Dr Jain was on the faculty of IIT Kanpur for 35 years from 1984-2019. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Roorkee (1979), and Masters (1980) and Doctoral (1983) degrees from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

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