JNU’s Sukhdeo Thorat is new UGC chairman






NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 6: The University Grants Commission (UGC) finally got its new chairman today—Prof Sukhdeo Thorat. The post fell vacant in August 2005; a search committee chaired by former chief justice V N Khare had shortlisted three candidates in December last.


Thorat, at present a member of the UGC and a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, will have a five-year term. He is the first Dalit to hold the post.



Thorat said he would use his experience in higher education to further the UGC’s mandate of ‘‘promoting quality and equitable higher education’’. He also said health education would be an area of priority for the UGC.


Thorat holds his M Phil and PhD degrees in Economics from JNU. His areas of specialisation include agricultural development, poverty, labour studies, caste and economic discrimination, with special focus on discrimination in the labour market and the economic problems of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes.


He has written extensively on a variety of contemporary issues such as rural poverty, rural development, child labour, caste-discrimination and urban slums. Thorat also has a large of published papers on general economics, agricultural development, rural poverty and related themes to his name.



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