KU mulls to invite Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan

Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar: If all goes as planned, the Kashmir University (KU) is set to create a history of sorts by hosting a Nobel laureate.
The KU has got in touch with some facilitators to invite the Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, an Indian-born American and British structural biologist, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two more scientists.
“We are attempting to get him here and in this connection some people have been contacted. Let’s see if he accepts our invitation so that students get benefitted,” KU’s Registrar Prof Zafar Ahmad Reshi told Kashmir Reader on Friday.
“His achievements would enlighten students and expose them to best avenues. It will set a discourse and change perspective about the (KU),” he said.
Popularly known as Venky among his peers, Ramakrishnan is based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
“Basically, we are not in a position to pay for his visit. The cost would be too much. So what we are looking up to is that he might be in Delhi and then we can invite him here,” Prof Reshi said.
In the recent past, KU hosted political figures like Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, inviting protests from students and intellectuals. Many faculty members of the varsity have been pitching for inviting world class scientists and independent intellectuals to set the university on a high pedestal.
“Inviting a Nobel laureate is good idea. Otherwise, ministers are invited as chief guests in the university. We should try to get benefitted from such an event instead of making it a celebration,” said Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a former law teacher at the KU, who now teaches at Central University of Kashmir.
“Often KU authorities invite political leaders and those who have no connection with academics. We must set a precedent to invite scientists, thinkers, philosophers, historians, and who’s who of top universities. It would boost and inspire the confidence of our students and elevate their thinking standards as well,” a senior faculty member wishing not be named told Kashmir Reader.