New Delhi, Oct 23: Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, a former University Grants Commission (UGC) vice-chairman and a reputed educationist, today assumed office of the Vice-Chancellor of distance education pioneer IGNOU.
An internationally known chemical scientist, Prof Pillai has also served as head of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore, and vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
Prof Pillai, who has been at the helm of affairs of several higher education institutions in a 35-year career, was the founder-director of the School of Professional Distance Education and chief of Employment and Information Guidance Bureau of the Mahatma Gandhi University.
A Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and a Senior Fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, he heads a research group in the area of biopolymers and peptides.
Recipient of several research and teaching accolades, Prof Pillai is a member of the working group constituted by the government for preparing the Indian Science Policy document for UNESCO.
He received the triennial Prof M V Pylee Award of the Cochin University of Science and Technology for distinguished academician of the country early this year.
Convenor and member of the Search Committees of Vice-Chancellors for Central and State Universities, he is Chairman of the Deemed Universities Committees.
''Prof Pillai has joined office this morning and has started his job with a meeting of the university Academic Council,'' said IGNOU spokesman Ravi Mohan.