The University Grants Commission (UGC) has appointed Ajit K Kembhavi as the new director of the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).
Kembhavi is the third director to take charge of the renowned research institute. After founder-director Jayant Narlikar retired,Naresh Dadhich took charge as director of IUCAA. Dadhich is superannuating on August 31. Kembhavi will formally take charge on September 1.
At present,Kembhavi is travelling abroad on official duty. Kembhavi is a distinguished professor and has been the dean of visitor academic programmes at the IUCAA. He is also one of the founding members of IUCAA. Before IUCAA,he was at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai where he obtained his PhD with J V Narlikar and was then appointed as a scientist. Kembhavi has also been a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy,Cambridge,England.
Kembhavis interests are in galaxies,high-energy astrophysics and quasars. He leads the Virtual Observatory-India Project and is involved in developing astronomical research in universities and colleges in India. He is chairman of various UGC committees,which look after the UGC-Infonet that brings the benefits of information and communication technology to all the universities in India. He is a fellow of National Academy of Sciences and Indian Academy of Sciences and has received the UGCs Hari
Kembhavi has published around 100 research papers in reputed international journals. He has also been working in collaboration with scientists from India and abroad. He travels widely all over the world for his research and for giving lectures. Kembhavi is well known for his contribution to science popularisation programmes and lectures extensively to the public in English,Marathi and Hindi. He has written and edited several books.