Professor S. Japhet is the founding Vice Chancellor of Bengaluru Central University (BCU), established at the prestigious Central College Campus, Bengaluru. With over three decades in teaching, he has been an astute leader, administrator and a pioneer in developing unique academic programmes like the Masters Programme in Public Policy that he helped develop for the National Law School of India University.
Professor Japhet has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Indiana University in USA and Warwick University in the UK. He has been invited to deliver special lectures at various US colleges and universities including William and Mary School of Law, Duke University, University of Brandeis, Columbia University, New York University etc. and also in the UK at the University of Glasgow.
He has led major research projects for both Government of India and Government of Karnataka which have contributed in enabling reforms in law and policies. He has successfully organised both national (like Indian Social Science Congress) and international conferences, seminars and workshops enabling meaningful debates and discourses on contemporary issues relevant to the country. He has published many articles in national and international journals and has also published a couple of books. As Professor, he has guided many research scholars aspiring for a doctoral degree by helping them in their thesis or dissertations. He has also helped establish ecosystems of excellence and has been a key member of expert committees including (1) Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), (2) University Grants Commission (UGC), Doordarshan, World Conference against Racism, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Niti Aayog, etc.
At BCU, a state public university he has embarked on a difficult journey of enabling Governance in higher education institutions. He introduced an online examination management system ensuring an end-to-end efficient examination process both for the University and its affiliated institutions resulting in timely collection of exam fees, quick declaration of results via SMS, etc. The success of this initiative motivated him to further enhance governance by implementing an online Affiliation system which enabled efficiency and transparency in the affiliation process.
Inheriting a legacy, heritage infrastructure, it was key to ensure they are well maintained, structurally sound and also be green. The vision is to ensure BCU becomes the first University in Bengaluru or even India to have a Net Zero campus.
Another first to his credit is a partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the premier association of industries across the country to establish University-Industry Linkage enabling high quality research, industry relevant teaching and outreach partnerships. True to his past experience, he has initiated the establishment of six unique departments at BCU to meet the urgent needs of solutions for Bengaluru’s problems through research by young minds studying at BCU. They include Life Sciences, Environment & Climate Change, Technology, Urban Sustainability & Planning, Art & Aesthetics and Law & Public Policy. Under his leadership BCU has laid a strong foundation to become a pioneer city university in India treading a path towards global research excellence.
His vision for Higher Education is to motivate young minds to move away from fault finding to solution finding, evolving true multidisciplinary programs, enabling a platform for continuous dialogue amongst knowledge systems and leveraging technology to enable governance.