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In a momentous occasion that marked a new chapter in the history of Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), the prestigious institution proudly welcomed Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog and Co-Chair PMSTIAC (Prime Minister’s Scientific, Technology & Innovation Advisory Council) as its new Chancellor on October 25, 2023. The grand Investiture Ceremony was a testament to the university’s commitment to academic excellence and was graced by the presence of distinguished dignitaries, faculty members, and students.
Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), a NAAC A+ accredited institution, ranked among the top 75 universities in India in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), has always been at the forefront of providing world-class education. Dr. V.K. Saraswat, a prominent figure in India’s scientific and defense community, assumes the role of Chancellor, further elevating the institution’s academic prowess.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, a luminary in the realm of Indian science and defence, has dedicated over four decades to groundbreaking research and innovation.
He is a member of NITI Aayog and the co-chair for the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC)
His journey, spanning multiple domains in both basic and applied sciences, is marked by unparalleled accomplishments. Born on May 25, 1949, in Gwalior, Dr. Saraswat’s academic prowess began with his engineering studies in his hometown. Subsequently, he pursued a Master of Engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, culminating in a Ph.D. from Osmania University.
Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Saraswat held several pivotal positions, each contributing to the advancement of India’s defense capabilities. He evolved from a scientist to the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, Director to Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Secretary to the Department of Defence Research and Development. His indomitable spirit and visionary approach have set him apart as a scientist, innovator, and technologist.
Dr. Saraswat has been an architect of cutting-edge innovations, credited with indigenous developments that have fortified India’s national security. Notably, he spearheaded the creation of missiles like Prithvi, Dhanush, Prahaar, and Agni-5, alongside the establishment of a two-tiered Ballistic Missile Defence system. Under his leadership, DRDO achieved the initial operational clearance for the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and played a pivotal role in launching the nuclear submarine INS Arihant.
As the Secretary of DRDO, Dr. Saraswat played a pivotal role in enhancing India’s strategic capabilities. This included establishing infrastructure for strategic nuclear assets to support the Nuclear Doctrine, conducting flight evaluations for long-range subsonic cruise missiles, developing long-range radars for tracking incoming enemy ballistic missiles, and creating a command, control, and communication network to safeguard the National Capital Region against ballistic missile threats. Furthermore, he initiated the Cyber Security Research and Development Centre, focusing on offensive and defensive cybersecurity technologies.
Dr. Saraswat’s contribution extends beyond defence research. He served as the Homi Bhabha Chair Professor and Consultant to IOCL R&D, where he paved the way for alternative energy systems, including clean coal technologies, high-efficiency concentrated solar power systems, and a bioenergy- and hydrogen-based economy.
As the Chairman of NTPC R&D Advisory Council, he developed alternative energy technology plans, emphasizing clean coal technologies and advanced ultra-supercritical thermal power plants to reduce greenhouse emissions significantly.
Notably, Dr. Saraswat’s visionary initiatives included the establishment of the Photonics Valley Corporation in Telangana, which focuses on developing silicon photonics technology for next-generation networks. He also chaired the Committee for Development of Indian Microprocessors, contributing to the advancement of the M-Processor configuration for IoT, Smart Cities, and other ICT applications.
Moreover, he conceptualized the Indian Railway Research Institute (Shresththa), aiming to boost indigenous designs and manufacturing, particularly in high-speed rail systems and dedicated freight corridors, thereby ushering in a new era of R&D for Indian Railways.
As a Member of NITI Aayog, Dr. Saraswat introduced the ‘Methanol Economy’ program, facilitating transportation, energy generation, and chemical production. This initiative brought production agencies, academic institutions, and petro-refineries together, promoting R&D in gasification of high ash content Indian coal.
Dr. Saraswat chaired committees for the growth of technical textiles and framing a ‘Roadmap for Make in India in Body Armour.’ His insights were utilised for the formulation of BIS standards on body armour.
He led an empowered technical advisory committee for the development of national supercomputing systems, shaping the configuration and development strategy for this crucial program.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat’s dedication to research, innovation, and visionary leadership has left an indelible mark on India’s scientific and technological landscape. As he takes on the role of Chancellor at Graphic Era Deemed to be University, his wealth of experience and commitment to academic excellence promises to guide the institution towards even greater heights, ensuring a bright future for the entire student community.