M. Anandakrishnan, chair of the Indian Institutes of Technology Board of Governors, will present a seminar, "The current state of Indian higher education," at Virginia Tech on Thursday, March 19.

Anandakrishnan has an unusual perspective on higher education and science, having served in leadership positions in both fields. In India, he was vice chancellor of Anna University in Chennai, vice chair of the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education, and a teacher of civil engineering for many years at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. He was also advisor to the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on information technology and e-governance, and the first science counsellor at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C.

He has also served at the United Nations Center for Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) in various positions as deputy director, senior officer, chief of new technologies, and secretary of the Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development.

The Indian Institutes of Technology comprise 13 autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Parliament of India after independence in 1947. The schools train scientists and engineers with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support India’s economic and social development.

Anandakrishnan’s free public lecture will be at 4 p.m. in Conference Room A of the International Affairs Office Building at Price’s Fork and Tom’s Creek Road in Blacksburg. His visit to Virginia Tech is sponsored by the Office of Outreach and International Affairs.