Department of Alumni Relations

Distinguished Alumni

Panjab University has produced a large number of distinguished alumni who have contributed immensely to the cause of the nation building. The prominent among them are the following of Panjab University

PU Alumni Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, 9th President of India
Shankar Dayal Sharma (19 August 1918 - 26 December 1999) was the ninth President of India serving from 1992 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, Dr. Sharma had been the 8th Vice President of India. Dr. Sharma was an alumnus of Panjab University. He was also Chief Minister (1952-1956), Cabinet Minister(1956-1967) and was thereafter Union Minister for Communications (1974-1977).
PU Alumni Dr Manmohan Singh, Former Prime minister of India
Dr Manmohan Singh (born 26 September 1932) is the 14th and Former Prime Minister of the Republic of India. He is the first Indian Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. He is also the first Sikh to hold the post. He attended Punjab University, Chandigarh studying Economics and attained his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1952 and 1954 respectively, standing first throughout his academic career.
PU Alumni Inder Kumar Gujaral, Former PM of India
Shri Inder Kumar Gujral was sworn in as the 12th Prime Minister of India in 1977 April. Before assuming the office of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Gujral was the Minister of External Affairs from June 1, 1996 and held additional charge of the Ministry of Water Resources from June 28, 1996. He was the Minister of External Affairs earlier during 1989-1990. He was Ambassador of India to U.S.S.R. (Cabinet Rank) from 1976-1980 and held many Ministerial positions from 1967-1976. He Died on 30th November 2012.
PU Alumni Dr. Hargobind Khorana, Nobel Laureate Biotechnologist
Born on 9th January 1922 at Raipur, Punjab (now in Pakistan). Dr. Khorana was responsible for producing the first man-made gene in his laboratory in the early seventies. This historic invention won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968. Khorana, born into a poor family took his M.Sc from Punjab University at Lahore. Khorana's work, which is an important scientific landmark of the 20th century, has brought closer the day when synthetic DNA may be introduced into the defective human tissues to treat mentally retarded people.
PU Alumni Dr Abdus Salam, physicist, first Pakistani Nobel Laureate
Mohammad Abdus Salam (January 29, 1926; Sahiwal, Punjab, British India (present-day Pakistan) ' November 21, 1996; Oxford, England) was a Pakistani theoretical physicist, astrophysicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his work in Electro-Weak Theory. Salam holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani and Muslim Nobel Laureate. Even today, Salam is considered as one of the most influential scientist and physicist in his country.
PU Alumni Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, Government of India
Sushma Swaraj (born 14 February 1952) is an Indian politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She is currently minister of External Affairs, Government of India. She was the Leader of the Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha. She is a former union cabinet minister of India and a former chief minister of Delhi.
PU Alumni Bhai Mohan Singh (Padam Shri), Chairman & M.D. Ranbaxy Labs. Ltd.
Max India Limited can be called as the doyen of pharmaceutical industry in India. Bhai Mohan Singh is the founder of pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited. He was a former vice president of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in civic matters. For his contribution to the industrial development of Punjab, the Punjab Goverment had named an Industrial Township near Ropar after Bhai Mohan Singh.
PU Alumni Professor Yash Pal (Ph.D, FASc, FNASc, FNAE), Scientist and former Chairman, University Grants Commission, India
Yash Pal has made significant contributions to the study of cosmic rays, high-energy physics, astrophysics, science education, communication and development. A scientist of international repute held important positions at national and international level. He is known for his regular appearances on TV for his knack of explaining scientific concepts in layman's language. (Turning Point telecast on Doordarshan was a hit TV program). He is also recipient of Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularization of Science (2000) and The Meghnad Saha Medal (2006) among others awards. He was the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 2007 to 2012.He has been honoured with India's second highest Civilian Honour Padma Vibhushan in 2013.
PU Alumni Romila Thapar, Historian
Romila Thapar (born 1931) is an Indian historian whose principal area of study is ancient India. After graduating from Panjab University, Thapar earned her doctorate from the University of London in 1958. Later she worked as Professor of Ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her major works are Asoka and the Decline of the Maurya, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, Recent Perspectives of Early Indian History (editor), A History of India Volume One, and Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300.
PU AlumniKapil Sibal, Former Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India
Kapil Sibal (born August 8, 1948) is a prominent Indian politician and lawyer. He bacame the Minister of Human Resource Development in the Government of India in 2009. He also held two inistries:Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet.
PU Alumni Selja Kumari, Former Union Minister, Government of India
Selja was born on 24th September 1962, in Chandigarh. She gained her school education from New Delhi and gained an M. Phil. Degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is an agriculturist and political and social worker. She started her political career in 1990 as the joint secretary of 'All India Mahila Congress'. In 1991, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Sirsa in Haryana and she was the Union Minister of State for Education and Culture in the Narasimha Rao-led Congress government till 1995.
PU Alumni Kalpana Chawla, NASA Astronaut
Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962 - February 1, 2003), was an Indian-American scientist and a NASA astronaut. She was one of seven crewmembers killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She earned her B.E. degree in aeronautical engineering at Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh in 1982. Chawla joined the NASA astronaut corps in March 1995 and was selected for her first flight in 1998.
PU Alumni Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana
Bhupinder Singh Hooda(born 15 September 1947) is an Indian politician, a leader of the Indian National Congress. He became the chief minister of Haryana for the first time in March 2005. After the Haryana assembly elections, 2009, he again became the chief minister in October 2009. During his first term as Chief Ministership, he led many schemes and also led Congress to state power once again. Mr Hooda is credited with clean image and bringing people with mass base into Congress party.
PU Alumni Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of SAD
Sukhbir Singh Badal (born 9 July 1962) is President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) political party . He was the Member of Parliament of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He currently serves as Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. He went to the Lawrence School, Sanawar. He studied to acquire a B.A. (Hons) Economics, M.A (Economics) and MBA. He is an alumnus of Panjab University, Chandigarh and California State University, Los Angeles (USA).
PU Alumni Kirron Kher, MP Chandigarh / Actress
Kirron Kher was born into a Jatt Sikh family on the 14th June 1955 Mumbai and brought up in Chandigarh, Punjab, where she did her schooling and later college from Panjab University, Chandigarh. In 2004, Kirron won the Bronze Leopard Award at the Locarno International Festival for her role as a mother to a radical son in Khamosh Pani. She continued to play mother to Rani Mukherji in Hum Tum (2004), Preity Zinta in Veer Zaara (2004), Aamir Khan in Rang De Basanti (2006) and Kajol in Fanaa (2006). She participated in 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement with Anna Hazare, and organized sit-ins in Chandigarh. Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Elections 2014. Subsequently, in May 2014, she won the seat.
PU Alumni Shri N N Vohra, Governor, State of Jammu & Kashmir
Educated at the Punjab (India) and Oxford (UK) Universities. After topping in M.A. (English) he served as a Lecturer in Panjab University (1957-59). He Was in the Indian Administrative Service (1959-1994),. Sh. N.N Vohra has been the Centre's mediator since 2003 for talks with various groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He is currently Governor of Jammu and Kashmir State Since 2008.
PU Alumni Pawan Kumar Bansal, Former Minister for State of Govt. of India
Pawan Kumar Bansal born on 16 July 1948. He completed B.Sc., LL.B. from Department of Law, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He represented the Chandigarh constituency as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC). He was Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. He was formally administered the oath of office in May 2009 as cabinet minister of Parliamentary Affairs and played a crucial role in the formation of the 15th Lok Sabha. He took over as the Railway Minister becoming the first from his party since 1996.
PU Alumni Kiran Bedi, First IPS Officer
Kiran Bedi was born on 9 June 1949 in Amritsar, Punjab. She earned a Master's degree (1968-70) in Political Science from Panjab University. She is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. She became the first woman to join the IPS in 1972. She retired from the IPS in December, 2007, after taking voluntary retirement.
PU Alumni H. K. Dua, Senior Journalist and Political Commentator
Mr H. K. Dua, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), as one of the senior-most journalists of the country, has served as editor for over 15 years in four leading national dailies. He has been the Editor of the Hindustan Times, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Publications and Editorial Advisor of The Times of India. Mr Dua has several prestigious awards to his credit, apart from the Padma Bhushan which the President K. R. Narayanan conferred on him in 1998 for distinguished service to journalism.
PU Alumni Justice Swatanter Kumar, Former Chief Justice, High Court, Mumbai
Born on December 31, 1947 in Delhi, Chief Justice Kumar enrolled with the Delhi bar council in July 1971. He practiced as an advocate in various high courts and the Supreme Court. He served as a judge in the Delhi and Punjab & Haryana High Courts before being sworn in as Chief Justice of the Bombay HC on March 31, 2007.
PU Alumni Justice V.K. Bali, Chairman, CAT
Born on January 24, 1945. Graduated in Law from Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1967. Started practicing in District Courts, Karnal in the same year and shifted to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in 1973. Practiced on all subjects of law and specialized in Constitutional, Service, Labour and Industrial Disputes and Criminal Laws. He assumed office as Chairman CAT on 08th March, 2007.
PU Alumni Justice Ashok Bhan, Supreme Court of India
Born on October 2, 1941. Entered Legal Profession in 1965. Worked as part-time Lecturer in Faculty of Law, Punjab University from 1969 to 1979 and Additional Advocate General of Punjab from November, 1979 to March, 1980. He was Acting Chief Justice from 26th June, 2000 to 20th October, 2000 in the Karnataka High Court. Appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India from 2001-2008.
PU Alumni Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, Indian Express Group
Born on 26 August 1957. Shekar Gupta served as editor-in-chief of The Indian Express. Mr Gupta has been a Director of The Press Trust of India Ltd., Since 2006. Shekhar Gupta has been conferred the Padma Bhushan. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Mid-day Multimedia Ltd. Mr Gupta’s newspaper won the Vienna-based International Press Institute’s first India Award for Outstanding Journalism in the Public Interest.
PU Alumni Prof Ajay Kumar Sood, Scientist
Prof Ajay Kumar Sood obtained BSc (Hons) (Physics) (1971) and MSc (Hons) (Physics) (1972) from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He served at important positions at IGCAR, IISc, and also served as Chairman, Division of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (1998-2008). Presently, he is Honorary Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore and is also Vice President, INSA.

He has discovered the new phenomenon that the flow of liquids on single walled carbon nanotubes induces voltage and current in the sample along the flow direction. His other important study relates to the generation of electrical signal by gas flow over a variety of solids, including semiconductors, an effect known as 'Sood Effect'. He was bestowed the SS Bhatnagar Prize, GD Birla Award, Prize in Physics by TWAS, FICCI Prize, Goyal Prize, MN Saha Award, Millennium Gold Medal by Indian Science Congress Association, Sir CV Raman Award by UGC, Homi Bhabha Medal by INSA, and many others.
PU Alumni Satya Vrat Shastri, Sanskrit Scholar 2006, Jnanpith Award
Satya Vrat Shastri, born 29th September 1930, is a highly decorated Sanskrit scholar, writer, grammarian and poet from India. He received his B.A. Hons. and M.A. in Sanskrit from the Panjab University, and his Ph.D from the Banaras Hindu University. He has written three Mahakavyas, three Khandakavyas, one Prabandhakavyas and one Patrakavya and five works in critical writing in Sanskrit. His some of the important works are Ramakirtimahakavyam, Vaidika Vyakarana and "Discovery of Sanskrit Treasures" in seven volumes.
PU Alumni Nuruddin Farah, Award Winning Somali Nuruddin Farah Novelist
(born November 24, 1945) is a prominent Somali novelist. Born in Baidoa, Somalia, Farah has garnered acclaim as one of the greatest contemporary writers in the world. Having published many short stories, novels and essays, his prose has earned him, among other accolades, the Premio Cavour in Italy, the Kurt Tucholsky Prize in Sweden, the Lettre Ulysses Award in Berlin, and in 1998, the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
PU Alumni Jaspal Bhatti, Comedian
Jaspal Bhatti was born on 3rd march 1955 at Guru ki Nagri Amritsar into a Sikh Ramgarhia family of Bhatti clan, got married to Ms. Savita Bhatti on 24th March 1985. He graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in Punjab, as an electrical engineer. He was famous for his street plays like his Nonsense Club during his college days. Mr. Jaspal Bhatti was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the first Golden Kela Awards. He died in a car accident near Shahkot in Nakodar area of the Jalandhar district on 25 October 2012.
PU Alumni Anupam Kher, Renowned Movie Star
Anupam Kher (born 7 March 1955) is an acclaimed Indian actor who mainly appears in Hindi films. In addition to Hindi films, he has work in several successful Punjabi, British, Hollywood and Chinese films as well. He has held the post of Chairman of the Censor Board and National School of Drama in India. He was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution to Indian cinema. Kher has won the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role five times, more than any other actor. He is an alumnus of National School of Drama (1978 batch) and later became its director.

The Department of Alumni Relations keeps honouring the distinguished PU alumni, from time to time, who have made tangible mark and brought acclaim in their respective domains. Scores of eminent scholars, scientists, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, artists, journalists and intellectuals have already been honoured by PUAA.


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