Amid all the brickbats that the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has received recently over its alleged anti-India stand, it has been adjudged the winner of two of the three Visitor's awards initiated by President Pranab Mukherjee last year. An announcement was made by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday, March 8, stating that JNU had bagged the prize under the categories of 'Innovation' and 'Research', while Tezpur University was adjudged the 'Best University.'
Tezpur University got the award for its academic excellence and overall performance in the year 2015. Rakesh Bhatnagar, a JNU professor, and the Delhi institute's Molecular Parasitology Group were recognised for innovation and research.
According to Rashtrapati Bhavan sources, Professor Bhatnagar had developed a vaccine and therapeutic antibody against anthrax, and a team of scientists led by Professor Alok Bhattacharya worked on malaria, amoeba and kala-azar parasites. The sources further revealed that there were about ten entries in each category and a panel of experts assessed them.
While Bhatnagar, who heads a panel that was set up to probe the February 9 campus event, did not wish to comment about his work, Bhattacharya said that although several institutions were engaged in research on malaria, kala-azar or amoeba, JNU was the only place for comprehensive research on all three.
According to media reports, Tezpur University Vice-Chancellor Mihir K. Chaudhuri said that the university had produced excellent research while catering to the needs of 3,600 students in a place, whose location was a disadvantage.
The awards instituted by the President last year, who is also the Visitor for all central universities, will be presented next Monday.
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