Odia physicist Ajit Mohanty appointed as atomic energy secretary

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mohanty, who hails from Mayurbhanj district.
Noted physicist and director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Ajit Kumar Mohanty. (Photo | Twitter, @dpradhanbjp)
Noted physicist and director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Ajit Kumar Mohanty. (Photo | Twitter, @dpradhanbjp)

BHUBANESWAR: Noted physicist and director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Ajit Kumar Mohanty has been appointed as secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mohanty, who hails from Mayurbhanj district. He is the first Odia to become the Union secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy.

As per the notification, Mohanty (64) will hold the post for a tenure up to the age of 66 years till October 10, 2025 or until further orders, whichever is earlier. He was appointed as the 13th director of BARC on March 12, 2019.

Mohanty has worked in several areas of nuclear physics covering collision energy from the sub-Coulomb barrier to the relativistic regime using the Pelletron accelerator at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), PHENIX, and CMS experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), USA and CERN, Geneva.

He served the Indian Physics Association (IPA) as general secretary and later as its president. He has been the CERN Scientific Associate twice, first during 2002-2004 and again during 2010-2011.

Mohanty is a recipient of the Homi Bhabha Science and Technology Award, Young Physicist Award from the Indian Physical Society and Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award. Recently, he was conferred Honorary Doctor in Literature (DLitt) by Utkal University.

Graduated in Physics from MPC College, Baripada in 1979, Mohanty had done post-graduation from the then Ravenshaw College, Cuttack in 1981. He joined the Nuclear Physics Division of BARC in 1983 after graduating from the BARC training school. He obtained his doctorate from Mumbai University.

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