PESHAWAR: Prof Dr Jehan Bakht has assumed the charge of vice-chancellor of the University of Agriculture with the pledge to launch productive projects to bring economic benefits to the seat of learning and create new avenues of research.
The university was without a regular vice-chancellor for the last 15 months.
There have been protests and boycott in the university throughout the previous year over the alleged decline of the administrative, academic and financial status of the institution. The ranking of the university was adversely affected.
In such a situation, the new vice-chancellor has to take on the challenging task to streamline the affairs of the university.
In an interview with The News, Dr Jehan Bakht said he would take briefings from all the departments and start a speedy journey by undertaking academic, research, administrative and financial reforms at the university.
Dr Jehan Bakht, hailing from Khar village near Batkhela town in Malakand district, vowed to attract more projects in the applied side from national and international donors.
“We have very good areas to explore and make development. We can launch productive projects in horticulture, dairy farming, seed production and others to not only bring economic benefits to the university but also create new avenues of research,” he said.
Dr Jehan Bakht, who is a graduate of the University of Agriculture, Peshawar, has served at the university for 23 long years in different capacities.
He joined the university as a lecturer in 1996 upon his return for Glasgow in the United Kingdom after completion of his PhD.
He received his early education from the Government Middle School in his village Khar and did matriculation from Government High School in Batkhela.
He did his FSc from Islamia College in Peshawar in 1981 and master’s in Agronomy from the University of Agriculture in 1988.
The academician then enrolled at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad for the PhD, but soon won a scholarship to study at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
He completed his PhD in 1996.
Dr Jehan Bakht remained the vice-chancellor of the University of Swat and the Khushal Khan Khattak University in Karak.
He is among the leading scientists in the country and has published 215 research papers in national and international journals. Being the author of two books, he has supervised 39 PhD and 117 MPhil scholars.
Dr Jehan Bakht won World Laboratory Switzerland Fellowship (1990) for PhD studies at the University of Glasgow UK followed by four post-doctorate fellowships at University of Milan in Italy (1997-98), National University of Rosario in Argentina (1999-2001), University of California in USA (2003-2004) and University of Glasgow in UK (2007-2010).
He is recipient of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Trieste Italy (1997-1998) and US Fulbright Fellowship during 2003-2004.In recognition of his academic, research and professional achievements, Dr Jehan Bakht has been decorated with several awards, honours and certificates by various organizations.
These include Star Laureate Award by South Asia Publication (2000), Best University Teacher Award by HEC Islamabad (2012-2013), Research Development Effort Award by Ministry of Science and Technology KP (2015), Research Productivity Award by Pakistan Council of Science and Technology Islamabad (2011-2017), Quaid-e-Azam Gold Medal (2018) and Pakistan Academy of Sciences Gold Medal (2018).