Eminent scientist V K Saraswat was on 12 May 2017 appointed as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He succeeds former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, who completed his term on 30 March 2017. Saraswat will serve five years term at JNU. He is currently serving as the Member of NITI Aayog. As the Chancellor of JNU, Saraswat will discharge functions such as presiding over the convocation ceremony for awarding degrees. Apart from being a member of the JNU court, he will be the competent authority to sanction leave to the vice-chancellor.
A PhD in Combustion Engineering, Saraswat played a very significant role in the development of the country’s first liquid propulsion engine– Devil. He is credited with the development of other rocket engines such as Prithvi, Dhanush and Prahaar. He earlier served as the Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation. He has held the posts of Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, and secretary to the Department of Defence (research and development). Saraswat was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Bhushan in 2013.