The Kashmiri Person of the Year is selected by Shehjar’s Editorial Board and given to a Kashmiri Professor Amitabh Mattoo in recognition of considerable achievements towards the improvement and well being of others for earning a good name and favorable recognition for him and the Kashmiri people. The award carries a Plaque of Honor and a Certificate.
Professor Amitabh Mattoo was born in Srinagar, Kashmir on 26 June 1962. He received his early education in Burn Hall School, Srinagar.
Later he studied at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and earned a D. Phil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He was selected for the Indian Police Service in 1988, but preferred a career in academics. He has been visiting Professor at Stanford University, USA, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been Chairperson of the Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University. For 6 years, he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu. He is currently a Professor of International Politics at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and also a Member of the National Knowledge Commission, a high-level advisory group to the Prime Minister of India.
He is one of India’s leading thinkers and writers on international relations. Professor Mattoo is one of the few Indian academics in the field of international relations who has actually had an impact on foreign and domestic policy. Nuclear policy, India-US relations, India-Pakistan ties and Kashmir are a few of the fields in which his contributions are well recognized. Professor Mattoo’s has written books on India’s nuclear policy and India-Pakistan relations as well as many articles on Kashmir. Professor Mattoo serves on the Governing council of Pugwash, the Nobel prize winning NGO and is a Director of the India-Afghanistan Foundation (established by the governments of India and Afghanistan). Professor Mattoo was till recently, a member of India’s National Security Council’s Advisory Board and was also a member of the task force constituted by Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Global Strategic Developments. The Task Force examined various aspects of global trends in strategic affairs and their implications for India.
Professor Amitabh Mattoo was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from November 2002 until early December 2008 and was the youngest person ever to hold that position.
During his tenure there, the University of Jammu emerged as a centre of academic and extracurricular excellence. Mattoo’s leadership gave the University a fresh profile, with the institution entering into academic collaboration with a number of top international institutions. The quality of research and teaching improved tremendously and increasingly academicians from the University of Jammu were being called to articulate the Indian perspectives on various issues in prestigious institutions in India and abroad.
As Vice-chancellor of the University of Jammu, Professor Mattoo emphasized the importance of infrastructure, ensuring that the University of Jammu today competes with the best institutions of higher education, nationally and internationally and compares most favorably with other regional universities. The emphasis on infrastructure is the outcome of his stated conviction that the creation and dissemination of knowledge in a knowledge society cannot take place in a technology and infrastructure deficient environment and that an institution devoted to knowledge creation and dissemination has to engage actively with the world outside with all tools at its disposal. Under his stewardship, one of the infrastructure projects the University completed was building the Zorawar Singh auditorium complex, which includes two auditoriums, a TV studio, a museum and an art gallery, which showcase the pluralistic heritage of the state.
During his tenure, the University of Jammu took the innovative decision to cover all parts of Jammu region by establishing campuses in Bhaderwah, Kathua, Poonch with satellite campuses in Surankote, Reasi and Patnitop. The emphasis in these centers is on programs like Business Management and IT, with an aim to provide skilled manpower to Corporate India as also to ensure that world class technical education is brought to deserving students from remote parts of the state, enabling them to participate in India’s growing knowledge economy.
Recognizing Amitabh Mattoo’s contribution to education, the President of India honoured Professor Mattoo on the occasion of the Republic Day (2008) with the Padmashree. This is the first time a Vice-chancellor in Jammu and Kashmir has been so honoured.
Shehjar is a reputed and globally read monthly magazine about Kashmir and Kashmiris, and also covers activities of the Kashmiri Community Diaspora. Shehjar presents a true representation of Kashmir, taking a balanced view from its history and present circumstances and aims to create a vision for its peaceful and all encompassing future.
Shehjar has been undertaking its journey of life humbly, with a pure journalistic mission.
The Shehjar Monthly magazine has preferred the Kashmiri Person of the Year-2008 award "In recognition of his achievements in the fields of academics and international relations and for serving the people of J & K dedicatedly and with result"