Press Release

South Asian University to get Chairman from Pakistan and President from India

The South Asian University (SAU) - a flagship project of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – convened Eleventh Meeting of its Governing Board on 18-19 December 2023 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Governing Board Members from the Member States, and representatives from the SAARC Secretariat and SAU attended the two-day Meeting in Kathmandu.

H. E. Mr. Md. Golam Sarwar, Secretary General of SAARC, addressed the Inaugural Session of the Meeting as Chief Guest. In his address, Ambassador Sarwar expressed gratitude to the Government of India for hosting the University in New Delhi and facilitating its smooth functioning since its establishment. He thanked the Chairperson of the Governing Board for convening the Meeting and the Members for making it convenient to travel to Kathmandu to attend the Meeting. He also thanked the previous and present Chairpersons and Members of the Governing Board and Office-bearers of the University for their remarkable contributions to bring the University to where it stands today. “One of the objectives of SAARC as outlined in its Charter is to promote welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life. This can best be achieved through education. The establishment of the South Asian University in New Delhi in 2010 is, therefore, considered as one of the significant accomplishments of SAARC,” Ambassador Sarwar asserted. He further said, “As the Centre of Excellence, the University holds great potential to foster socio-economic and cultural collaboration among the South Asian countries.”

Prof. Dev Raj Adhikari, Chairman, University Grants Commission, Nepal, chaired the Meeting. In his opening remarks, Prof. Adhikari welcomed the participants to the Meeting. He appreciated the role of SAU in facilitating regional cooperation in higher education and research. He also thanked the previous Governing Board members for their hard work in making SAU a reputable platform for teaching, learning and research in the South Asia region.  

The Governing Board decided to appoint Prof. K. K. Agrawal from India as the new President of SAU. The Board also agreed to transfer the Chairmanship of the Governing Board to Pakistan, after Nepal, on the principle of rotation in alphabetical order of the Member States, besides endorsing SAU’s budget for 2023-24 and academic calendar for 2024-25. 

The Board also reviewed the progress and achievements of SAU since its last Meeting.  It appreciated the untiring efforts of the Acting President, Acting Vice President, and Acting Registrar of SAU for their active role in successfully managing the affairs of the University during the transitional period.

As SAARC’s Centre of Excellence, the South Asian University is a unique seat of learning, research and creativity for the citizenry of the region, offering state-of-the-art learning and research facilities with a world-class faculty drawn from within and outside the region. Currently, the University has five Faculties with 7 departments, offering both Masters’ and PhD programmes to around 600 students under the guidance of as many as 55 faculty members.  Around 2000 students and research fellows have been educated at the University thus far.

SAARC Secretariat

Kathmandu, 21 December 2023