The Centre on Monday appointed Prof JK Bajaj, who is currently heading the Centre for Policy Studies, as the next chairperson of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).
Prof Bajaj will be the 15th chairperson of the ICSSR, which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education established in 1969 to promote research in social sciences in the country.
The government order on Prof Bajaj’s appointment states that he will have a term of three years as the chairperson. A Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the Punjab University, Prof Bajaj has also written and edited books on religious demography and economy.
Manipur University chancellor Prof Tirupati Rao and economics lecturer Ashok Gajanan Modak, who had been a BJP MLC in Maharashtra from 1994 to 2006, were the other short-listed contenders for the post, sources said.
Among the books authored, and co-authored by Prof Bajaj include Religious Demography of India; Timeless India Resurgent India: A Celebration of the Land and People of India; Annam Bahu Kurvita: Recollecting the Indian Discipline of Growing and Sharing Food in Plenty.
His latest book, ‘Making of a Hindu Patriot: Background of Gandhiji’s Hind Swaraj’, co-authored with Prof MD Srinivas was launched by RSS sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat in 2021.
Prof Bajaj is also a member of the backward classes commission to examine sub-categorization of OBCs which has been provided an extension till July 31. In 2018, he was appointed as an ICSSR council member, a position he occupied twice before – between 1999–2002 and 2002-2005.
The ICSSR chairperson’s post has been held in the past by scholars