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Somak Raychaudhury appointed Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University

Professor Raychaudhury will take over from Professor Malabika Sarkar, who completes her term after serving as Ashoka University’s Vice-Chancellor since August 2019

Office of PR & Communications

10 November, 2022 | 4m read

Professor Somak Raychaudhury, eminent Indian astrophysicist and currently Director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University. Prof. Raychaudhury will take over from Professor Malabika Sarkar, who completes her term after serving as Ashoka University’s Vice-Chancellor since August 2019. 

Professor Raychaudhury’s appointment follows an extensive global search conducted by a Search Committee consisting of the Chancellor, Deans, faculty members, founders and trustees of Ashoka University. His date of joining will be announced shortly.

Professor Somak Raychaudhury holds a Ph.D. 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. Prof. 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. 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.

Introducing the new Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor and Founding Vice-Chancellor Professor 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.”

Speaking on the appointment of Professor Raychaudhury, Pramath Raj Sinha, Chairman, Board of Trustees, said “Professor Raychaudhury brings stellar academic stature and strong administrative experience to Ashoka. As an accomplished scientist who is deeply immersed in the humanities and social sciences, he brings a clear vision and is best suited to lead Ashoka in its journey towards becoming India’s finest university. Our Founders and Trustees are committed to supporting him as Ashoka pursues its bold research agenda and investment in true interdisciplinary learning. I would also like to thank Professor Malabika Sarkar for having enriched Ashoka with her exemplary leadership, academic distinction and holistic approach to University administration. We are privileged that she will provide her sage counsel and wisdom to Ashoka going forward.” 

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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