Prof Mahendra P Lama (b 1961) has joined Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as the Pro Vice Chancellor.
Prof Lama was born in Darjeeling and grew up under the parentage of late Basantlata Lama and late RP Lama a widely known writer, social worker and an administrator. Prof Lama is the Founding Vice Chancellor of the newly established Central University of Sikkim in India created by an act of Parliament in 2007 and became the youngest Vice Chancellor of a National University in India. He has been acclaimed for his vision, innovative management and designing of academic programmes and linking the local youth and human, natural and intellectual resources with national and global world.
Prof Lama was a Member of the prestigious National Security Advisory Board of Government of India, A product of Scots Mission Primary School and Turnbull High School in Darjeeling. He was Professor of South Asian Economies in the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and also the Chairman of the Centre for South, Central, South East Asian and South West Pacific Studies in JNU. He was given the full Professorship by JNU at a relatively younger age of 39. He is presently nominated by the Government of India as a member of the Steering Committee of the coveted South Asian Forum set up by the Heads of the States and Governments in the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu in 2010. He also served as the Chief Economic Adviser in the Government of Sikkim with a Cabinet Minister Rank for seven years (2000-2007). He has been nominated by the President of India in the highest executive boards of various leading institutions of India including IGNOU, North East Hill University, NCERT and Hyderabad University.
Central to his intellectual pursuits is development and cooperation in South and South East Asia. While teaching economic cooperation and integration in South Asia and India’s Foreign Economic Policy, he does extensive research with distinct policy slants. He was nominated by the Government of India in the Independent Expert Group set up by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1997.
Besides authoring and editing 22 books, he has extensively worked on the issues of human security, migration, refugees, trade, investment and energy cooperation in South Asia and issues of hills and mountains. He has closely worked with the top regional institutions in South Asia. His most recent work is a book entitled “Human Security in India: Discourse, Practices and Policy Implications” ( UPL, Dhaka, 2010). His works have been published in many refereed journals and also translated into a number of foreign languages including Japanese, French and German. He has been in various Indian delegations abroad including headed by the Prime Minister.
He was Nehru-Fulbright Education Administrator’s Fellow in USA in 2011; India-China Fellow at the New School University in USA in 2008-2010; Visitor to the European Union, Brussels in 2002; and Ford Foundation Fellow at Notre Dame University in the USA in 1997. He was India’s representative in the Energy Cooperation Forum held in Indonesia and Thailand. He was also invited by the Malaysian Government in its prestigious Malaysia International Visitor Programme (MIVP) at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2007. He was also prestigious Asia Leadership Fellow in Japan in 2001; Visiting Professor in Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo 2004-2005 and Visiting Fellow in Calcutta University and headed Indian delegation of the Vice Chancellors to UK and China. He has been in the Editorial Board of a number of national and international journals.