Professor Bishan Singh “Samundari” was the founder and the first Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, Punjab from 1969 to 1978. He was a visionary administrator and the university was not only get established on sound footings during his tenure but also flourished very well. He used to personally approach the outstanding academicians and scholars in various fields and was able to bring them on board as Guru Nanak University faculty members. Before becoming Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak University, Professor Bishan Singh "Samundari" was Principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar. He was a son of Sardar Teja Singh “Samundari” – a great freedom fighter from Punjab. He passed away in the late eighties in Amritsar.
Dr. Karam Singh Gill was the second Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. His tenure was from 1978 to 1981. He was a well known economist. Professor Gill joined Guru Nanak University as a Professor and Head of its Punjab School of Economics. Prior to becoming Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Gill had a long experience working as an Economic Advisor to the Government of India and as Deputy Chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, Chandigarh. He was known for holding high academic values. Dr Gill left this earthly abode in 2004.
Professor J. S. Grewal was the third Vice Chancellor and his tenure was from 1981 to 1984. He is a world wide renowned historian and is an authority on Sikh history. Professor Grewal has written several books on the history of the Punjab including the History of the Sikhs of the Punjab, published by Cambridge University, UK and Guru Nanak in History. Professor Grewal did his Ph.D. and D. Litt from London and was the founder Professor and Head of the Department of History at Guru Nanak Dev University. Dr Grewal was the first Dean of Academic Affairs at Guru Nanak University and a played key role in setting up high academic standards and opening up new academic departments on the campus. Prior to his joining the Guru Nanak Dev University, he taught at Punjab University Chandigarh. During his tenure, several initiatives were undertaken to achieve further excellence in the academic front including initiation of several new academic courses and their revisions. After retiring from Guru Nanak University, he became Director of Indian Institute of Advance Study, Shimla. He lives in Chandigarh and heads the Institute of Punjab Studies.
Professor S. S. Bal was the fourth Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University (1985 to 1988). Professor Bal was an historian and had taught history at Punjab University Chandigarh, Punjabi University Patiala and Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana. Dr Bal did his Ph.D from London. He published several research papers and books on Punjab history. He passed away in the late nineties.
Professor Gurdip Singh Randhawa was the fifth Vice Chancellor and had almost three tenures (8 years). He remained Vice Chancellor during 1989 – 1997, which was the most turbulent period in the recent history of the Punjab. However, he managed the university including its growth extremely well. Most of the university buildings were constructed during his tenure. He has the distinction of starting the maximum number of academic programmes in the University. He was very articulate and successful in getting huge grants for the university from University Grants Commission and other sources. Before becoming the Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak University, he was Principal and Professor of English Literature at Khalsa College, Delhi. He lives in Chandigarh and is passionate about urdu poetry.
Dr. Harbhajan Singh “Soch” was the sixth Vice Chancellor (1996-2001). Before becoming the Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr. Soch was Principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar. His areas of academic interest were education and Punjabi literature. During his tenure Guru Nanak Dev University became first university in India, which was assessed as ‘A’ category and rated FIVE stars for its outstanding academic achievements by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India and National Assessment and Accredition Council (NAAC) of India respectively. Dr. Soch lives in Amritsar.
Dr. S.P. Singh was the seventh Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. He was Professor in Punjabi Department of Guru Nanak Dev University and Dean of College Development Council before becoming the Vice Chancellor. Dr SP Singh was also known as a teacher activist. He is known for his work in the field of Parvaasi Punjabi Literature and organised several international literary conferences and published several research articles and books. As a Vice Chancellor, he contributed to the promotion of closer understanding between the people of East and West Punjab. During his tenure some of initiatives that were undertaken to further promote the Punjabi Culture include the establishment of Centre for Punjab Studies for the new generations of Punjabis settled abroad, establishment of a Heritage Complex and adoption of Preet Nagar - A model village founded by legendary Punjabi writer Gurbux Singh Preetlari. Dr SP Singh lives in Amritsar with his wife Mrs Jagjit Kaur who is a lecturer in music in the local Government College for Women.
Dr. Jai Rup Singh is the eighth and the current Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. He assumed VC's office on 22 July, 2006. He is a world wide renowned geneticist. Before becoming the Vice Chancellor, he was a senior Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and has the honour of being its founder Head. Dr Jai Rup is also the founder Co-ordinator of Centre for Genetic Disorders of the university – the first of its own kind in any Indian university. His contribution in Human Genetics is widely acknowledged in and out side India..
Dr Jai Rup Singh did his Ph.D from AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi); in 1973. He joined the then Department of Biology of Guru Nanak University in 1973 when the university was only four years old and became Professor in 1986.
Professor Jai Rup Singh has made outstanding contribution to the academic and administrative affairs of the university as Professor and Head of the Department of Human Genetics, Dean Faculty of Sciences, Dean Academic Affairs, Member of the Syndicate, Senate, Academic Council, Finance Committee and UGC Review Committee.
His contributions in the areas of Human Genetics were recognised by International Medical Sciences Academy and he was elected its Fellow. He has also undertaken collaborative research with over 50 National (AIIMS, CCMB, LVPEI.) and International Institutes (Germany, US). Professor Jai Rup Singh also has the honor to become President of Indian Society of Human Genetics twice in 2001 and 2002. He has been invited for lectures at WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, EU, and PAHO. For further details please click here.