UGC panel okay for Chairs after Mahavira, Kurien

An expert committee of the University Grants Commission (UGC) has accepted a proposal of the government to establish chairs in the name of Vardhaman Mahavira for Jain studies and Verghese Kurien, known as father of white revolution in India, for studies on rural development and cooperative movement.

The proposal, made by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, was accepted by the expert panel at its meeting recently.

"The committee considered the reference received from the HRD Ministry and unanimously recommended for the creation of the two Chairs," an UGC official said.

Kurien, who was co-founder of 'Amul' and founder of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) as well as the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), is credited for his work in revolutionising India's dairy industry. He is called the 'Father of White Revolution' in India for transforming the country from a milk powder importer to the world's largest milk producer and exporter.

Born on November 26, 1921 in an affluent Syrian Christian family in Calicut (now Kozhikode), Kerala, Kurien was recipient of the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1964, Padma Shri 1965, Padma Bhushan 1966 and Padma Vibhushan 1999. He passed away at the age of 90 on September 9, 2012 in Gujarat after a brief illness.

The four-member expert committee was constituted by the UGC to consider the proposals received from various universities for the establishment of Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Chair and Swami Dayanand Saraswati Chair.

UGC member Inder Mohan Kapahy was made chairman of the expert committee after the commission approved proposals for establishment of the two Chairs.

At its meeting, the expert panel approved the proposals of the University of Jammu; Central University of Himachal Pradesh; Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu and North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon for establishment of Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Chair.

Dayanand Saraswati

The panel also cleared the proposals of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana; Saurashtra University, Rajkot, Gujarat and Central University of Jammu for establishment of Chair in the name of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

The committee, however, recommended that the 'Swami Dayanand Saraswati Chair' be rechristened as 'Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Chair,' noting that the prefix "Maharishi before Dayanand is universally employed."

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