Varanasi, Mar 24: Rakesh Bhatnagar, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor, has been appointed as the vice-chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the HRD Ministry informed on Friday. He will take charge from BHU Registrar Neeraj Tripathi, who had been holding the additional charge of the top post since October last year.

Bhatnagar has been teaching at JNU for two decades. He was the VC of Kumaon University from 2012 to 2013. His areas of interest include molecular biology of infectious diseases, recombinant vaccine development and programmed cell death in prokaryotes, reports PTI.

A senior official of HRD Ministry has informed that Bhatnagar’s appointment was approved by President Ram Nath Kovind this week.

Girish Chandra Tripathi, Bhatnagar’s predecessor, had gone on leave two months before his tenure came to an end, following a ruckus on campus in September last year.

The development came amid indications from HRD Ministry sources that the central government was upset with the manner in which the former vice-chancellor had handled the entire episode, including a protest by women students following an incident of alleged harassment.

The ruckus started when a number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a baton-charge by the police after a protest against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent in BHU, one of the 43 central universities in the country.

(Inputs from PTI)