Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai (VNR Pillai) is the Vice-Chancellor of Somaiya Vidyavihar University and Provost of Somaiya Vidyavihar and Somaiya Ayurvihar under the Somaiya Trust, Mumbai.
He has been at the helm of affairs of many higher educational and scientific research establishments for 50 years as a teacher, researcher, professor, and executive head of Education, Science and Technology establishments in the country and abroad.
An Elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Rajasekharan Pillai is one among the top-cited Chemistry researchers in the country. He created an internationally renowned research group in the area of Polymer Science.
About 60 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers have been trained under his direct supervision in the Universities of Calicut, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, University of Tubingen and in the University of Mainz, Germany. He was also a Visiting Research Professor in the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Top executive positions which he occupied include the Vice-Chairmanship and Chairmanship of the University Grants Commission, Government of India; Executive Director of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Government of India; Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU); Chairman of the Distance Education Council, Government of India; Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala; Vice-Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala; Executive Vice-President of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment; Ex-Officio Principal Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Kerala; Chairman of the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority, (under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India), and Chairman of the Kerala Biotechnology Commission. After Superannuation from the Government of India and Government of Kerala, Prof. Pillai worked as President of Mewar University, Chittorgarh, and Rajasthan. He is also working as President of a New Delhi NCR-based Civil Society Organisation, Human Development Foundation India, since 2015. He is on the Director Board of Apollo Group of Hospitals and on the Boards of several academic and research establishments in the country and abroad. He is also serving as the Chancellor of ICFAI University Tripura and as its Chairman, Board of Governors.