Chennai, 5th January 2023 : The Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation Deemed to be University has appointed Professor (Dr.) Ananth Padmanabhan as the new Dean of its Law School. Dr. Padmanabhan is currently a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University. He holds Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the USA.

After graduating from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India, in 2017, Dr. Padmanabhan worked as a disputes lawyer for six years in the Madras High Court before deciding to pursue the one-year LLM program at Penn Carey Law. Upon graduating in 2014, he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to pursue the SJD program. During the non-residence phase of his doctoral program, Dr. Padmanabhan worked with the Carnegie Endowment in New Delhi, partly motivated by the incredible technology law and policy training he had received while in residence and during his LLM year. After completing the doctoral thesis, Dr. Padmanabhan switched to a full-time academic career while also serving as a university leader. The insights from that journey helped him clarify his goals better, and he decided to pursue the mid-career program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Dr.  Padmanabhan’s research interests are in the fields of technology policy, intellectual property rights and innovation scholarship. He has authored a leading treatise, Intellectual Property Rights: Infringement and Remedies (LexisNexis, 2012), and co-edited an important volume, India as a Pioneer of Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2017). Dr. Padmanabhan’s co-authored chapter on Big Data in a recent volume on Regulation in India: Design, Capacity, Performance (Hart Publishing, 2019) is part of a continuing initiative to examine the public law and regulatory dimensions of new technologies. It builds on his understanding of the Indian state and the Supreme Court within the constitutional context, explored through chapters in Rethinking Public Institutions in India (OUP, 2017) and the Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (OUP, 2016). He engages in broader public conversations on the impact of technology through his opinion pieces in Hindustan TimesThe PrintLivemintIndian Express and other media.

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Announcing the appointment of Dr. Ananth Padmanabhan as the new Dean of the Aarupada Veedu Institute of Law (AVIL) of VMRF, Dr. A.S. Ganesan, Chancellor, VMRF observed, “On behalf of the Vice Chancellor and the entire academic community of VMRF, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Padmanabhan as the new Dean of the Law School at VMRF. VMRF has been a leading institution in various fields relating to Health Sciences and Non-Health Sciences programs. Our decision to establish a Law School in non health science stream as a part of our effort to promote excellence in higher education and legal education augurs well with the appointment of the new Dean of the Law School. Dr. Padmanabhan has an outstanding academic career with educational qualifications from the leading universities of India and the world – NLS, Bangalore; University of Pennyslvania and Stanford University. We extend our heartiest congratulations to Dr. Padmanabhan and welcome him to the VMRF family.”

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The Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Law School at VMRF, Dr. A. Francis Julian, who is a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India observed, “The decision to appoint an outstanding scholar and an accomplished legal educator as the Dean of the AVIL sends a powerful signal to wider world of higher education and reflects the deep and pervasive commitment of the VMRF and its benefactors towards promoting excellence. We are confident that VMRF and AVIL will grow from strength to strength under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Padmanabhan.”

Welcoming this new development in the evolution of the Law School at VMRF, Mr. J. Suresh Samuel, Member, Board of Management of VMRF observed, “As a part of the larger vision for promoting excellence in higher education and legal education, VMRF had recently established a collaboration for institutional mentoring with the O.P. Jindal Global University, which is an “Institution of Eminence”. This collaboration has enabled the mentoring framework by which the Jindal Global Law School is guiding and supporting the efforts to build a leading law school under the aegis of VMRF in Chennai. We are very excited to support the Dean Designate, Dr. Padmanabhan in his efforts to promote excellence in legal education. We are grateful to Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) and his colleagues, Professor (Dr.) S.G. Sreejith, Executive Dean, Jindal Global Law School; Professor Anand Prakash Mishra, Director of Law School Admissions, JGU; and Mr. Ankur Vohra, former Director of Admissions at JGU for their help and support to VMRF and AVIL.”

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Commenting on the institutional mentoring framework between JGU and VMRF, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) observed, “The Institutional Mentoring framework that has been established between JGU and VMRF is a unique and unparalleled initiative in annals of Indian higher education with a view to promoting global excellence in higher education. I congratulate the farsighted and visionary leadership of Chancellor Dr. Ganesan and all his colleagues including the Vice Chancellor of VMRF. The extraordinary decision to appoint Dr. Ananth Padmanabhan as the new Dean of AVIL demonstrates the institutional commitment to build an outstanding law school in VMRF. Dr. Padmanabhan brings with him impressive educational qualiufcations, outstanding professional acumen, and thoughtfully engaged institution building experiences having worked with several leading universities, think tanks and other institutions in India and abroad. VMRF couldn’t have made a better choice in appointing the new Dean to advance the cause of legal education in India.” 

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