Renowned physicist and Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Ajit Kumar Mohanty has been appointed as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy.
Mohanty succeeds K N Vyas to the posts that oversee India's nuclear programme and forays into harnessing atomic power for civilian needs.
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, as Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission tor a tenure up to the age of 66 years i.e. till 10.10.2025 or until further orders, whichever is earlier," said a government order issued late on Saturday.
Mohanty was appointed as the BARC director in March 2019.
Born in Odisha in 1959, Mohanty completed his graduation in 1979 with Honours in Physics from the MPC College in Baripada and post-graduation from Cuttack's Ravenshaw College.
In 1983, he joined the Nuclear Physics Division of the BARC after graduating from the 26th batch of the BARC Training School. He obtained his doctorate from the Mumbai University.
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Mohanty worked in several areas of nuclear physics, covering collision energy from the sub-Coulomb barrier to the relativistic regime using the Pelletron accelerator at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), PHENIX and CMS experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in the United States and CERN, Geneva.
Mohanty held several honorary positions in various organisations. He served the Indian Physics Association (IPA) as its general secretary and later, as its president. He was the spokesperson fort the India-CMS collaboration, director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, and director, Physics Group, BARC. He has twice been the CERN Scientific Associate, first during 2002-2004 and again during 2010-2011.
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