Yellapragada Sudershan Rao
|Yellapragada Sudershan Rao|
|Born||Yellapragada Sudarshan Rao
5 August 1945
Kollapur, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), India
|Institutions||Kakatiya University (professor)
Indian Council of Historical Research (chairperson)
|South Asian history, Southeast Asian history|
Yellapragada Sudershan Rao is the chairperson of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) from July 2014. Despite an attempt to resign the post on 24 November 2015, Rao continues as the Chairperson.
Prior to his appointment, Rao served as a professor of history at Kakatiya University in Telangana. He was previously head of the department, chairman of the board of studies, and dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Kakatiya University. Rao was formerly a member of the ICHR (2000-2002) and a National Fellow of the University Grants Commission (1992-1994). Although Rao serves as head of the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the RSS subsidiary organisation Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), Rao has stated "he has not been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh".
Life and career
Rao was born at Kollapur, Mahbubnagar district in Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana). He worked as a professor in the department of history and tourism management at Kakatiya University for forty years, serving as department head from 1988 to 1992 and would later serve as dean of the social sciences faculty. The Hindu has reported that he has published over forty research papers in national and international journals and contributed to the Andhra Pradesh History Congress. Rao specializes in ancient Indian culture, with an emphasis on the history of Hinduism and the social and religious history of South and South East Asia. 
Reacting to his appointment as ICHR chairperson, historian Romila Thapar questioned the academic rigour of Rao's work, and stated that while he may have "published popular articles on the historicity of the Indian epics", those articles had not been published in peer-reviewed journals. His appointment was also criticized by other historians and former members of the ICHR, including those sympathetic to the ruling party. He was supported by MGS Narayanan, a former ICHR chairperson.
After serving as chairperson for 16 months, Rao was reported to have submitted a resignation from his position on 24 November 2015, citing personal reasons. However, the government has not accepted the resignation.
- "Chairperson's Bio-data". Indian Council of Historical Research. Indian Council of Historical Research. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Kakatiya University, Warangal-506009, Telangana,India.". kakatiya.ac.in. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Akshaya Mukul (3 July 2014). "RSS man will head historical research body". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "Department of History and Tourism Management". Kakatiya University. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "He aims to present history in a new perspective". The Hindu. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 20 Aug 2014.
- "Vision India: Modi, RSS on collision course but who'll blink first?". Firstpost. 18 Aug 2014.
- "Historians raise questions about ICHR's new boss Prof Y Sudershan Rao". Firstpost. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 20 Aug 2014.
- "Choice of ICHR chief reignites saffronisation debate". The Hindu. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 20 Aug 2014.
- "Right-wingers question ICHR chief selection". The Times of India. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 20 Aug 2014.
- "A warning from history by MGS Narayanan : UP Front - India Today". indiatoday.intoday.in. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Chopra, Ritika (28 November 2015). "No honorarium, ICHR chief Sudershan Rao quits". Indian Express. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- HRD may ask Y Sudershan Rao to remain ICHR chief, The Indian Express, 2 April 2016.
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