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Dr. Arun Nigavekar is an educationist. He was the Chairperson & Vice-Chairperson of UGC (University Grants Commission) from 2000 to 2005. Dr. Nigavekar also was the Vice-Chancellor of University of Pune, considered to be one of the best universities in India.
Dr. Nigavekar also helped established the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) body and as such he was the Founder Director. Dr APJ Kalam, the former President of India has aptly christened him as the 'Father of Quality Education in India'. He is considered to be one of the most revolutionary thinkers of education in the country. He is a Raja Ramanna Fellow. Dr. Nigavekar is a Physicist and has Ph D in Solid State Physics.
Life and career
Professor Arun Nigavekar, born in 1942, is a well-known Physicist and renowned educationist with 45 years of experience. His significant contributions have been use of technology for enhancement of utility and quality of higher education and internationalization of higher education. The path breaking one being an initialisation of concept of Quality in Higher Education, for which he was aptly called as a father of quality movement in higher education in India by none other than the Former President of India, Honorable Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He was a Dakshina Fellowship holder of Rajaram College in Kolhapur and got educated in Pune and Uppsala in Sweden where he held SIDA Fellowship.
He was Chairman and Vice Chairman of UGC between 2000 & 2005. He was a moving force behind formulating of strategy for development of higher education in the Tenth Plan of Government of India. Before coming to Delhi he was a Vice Chancellor of University of Pune, a university that attained a status of University with Potential for Excellence under his leadership.
He has held several positions. Basically a Professor in Materials Science in Pune University since 1977, he established Center for Advanced Studies in Physics in Pune in 1980. He has 70 research publications to his credit. He was a Director of Educational Media Research Center in Pune and established Communication Science Department in Pune University in nineties. He was a Visiting Professor in University of York in U.K. and University of Western Ontario in Canada in eighties. His contributions in science education, as a founder editor of Physics Educational Journal, a journal of international repute, are recognized globally. He is a permanent member and was Vice-Chairman of Asian Physics Education Network, a UNESCO organization.
He was a member of UGC in 1993-1996 and initiated several reforms like decentralization of UGC administration, corpus for higher education institution. He was a founder Director of National Assessment and Accreditation Council, an autonomous body of UGC. He developed instrument and methodology for judging quality in complex Indian higher education system, which is endorsed by International Network for Quality Assuring Agencies in Higher Education (INQUAHE). He was a member of Distance Education Council and is also an adviser to Commonwealth of Learning in Canada.
He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree by Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, Nagarjuna University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University, University of Calicut and Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. He has won several honors notably being Phia Foundation Award, UNESCO honor, Swami Vivekanand Award, Advocate D R Nagakar Award, Shiromani Award, Delhi Ratan Award.
Authority on Higher Education Dr Nigavekar has been authority on Higher Education in India and several leading government and well respected media publications like the Financial Chronicle, Sakal (a leading Marathi newspaper), the Times of India, the Hindu refer to his thoughts and fall back on him for Education related matters.
In connection to the Supreme of Court of India ruling that education authorities must usher in transparency and provide photocopies of candidates' answer books under the Right to Information Act (RTI), Dr Nigavekar welcomes this push. Simultaneously he suggests that the State Education Boards should look at creating extra management system for handling the flood of applications which are bound to come.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has appointed a committee of experts, headed by Prof. Arun S. Nigavekar, to review the existing structure of Civil Services (Main) examination and suggest necessary changes
The Maharashtra State Government in the 2011, has set up two expert panels to formulate and implement a holistic conservation plan for the historic lake, which was created due to meteoroid impact about 50 million years ago. Dr Nigavekar will be heading the superior of the two committees.