5 facts you should know about Meghalaya’s Prof David R Syiemlieh, the new chairman of UPSC

SHILLONG: From holding the post of a pro-Vice Chancellor of NEHU to a member of the Union Public Service Commission, Prof David R. Syiemlieh has been appointed as the chairman of the UPSC, becoming the second person from Meghalaya to achieve the feat after Rose Bathew Kharbuli, who was the first woman chairperson of the commission in the 1980s. He will assume charge on January 4, 2017, and function till his retirement on January 21, 2018.

Here are 5 facts you should know about Prof David Syiemlieh

## David Reid Syiemlieh was born on 22 January 1953. He is an Indian academician who has contributed a lot for the educational scenario of Meghalaya and the Northeast. He studied in Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong (1958–1970) and graduated with history honours from St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. This was followed with a master’s degree in History (1976), MPhil (1980) and PhD (1985) from the North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. He is married to Maxine Sohkhlet. They have two sons, Colin and Reuben.

## He taught undergraduates in St. Edmund’s College (1977–1979) before joining the Department of History, NEHU, in 1979. He rose in the profession to become Professor in the Department of History. Prof Syiemlieh held various posts in NEHU including Dean of Students’ Welfare, Registrar, Controller of Examinations and Professor of History. Prof. Syiemlieh was President of the North East India History Association (2010–2011).

## He has also served as the Pro-Vice Chancellor of NEHU in 2011. Prof. Syiemlieh has also served in other Northeastern states, on 5 October 2011, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh in Arunachal Pradesh. In June 25, 2012, Prof Syiemlieh was appointed as UPSC member from June 25, 2012 which he continued serving till last year. (Dec 31). As the New Year sets in, he rose in his profession to take over as the new Chairman of UPSC. He will assume charge on January 4, 2017, and function till his retirement on January 21, 2018.

## Prof Syiemlieh is also an author of several books and articles on the history of North East India. He is credited with discovering the date of death and other details of the last days of Tirot Sing, the Khasi chief of Nongkhlaw who resisted British colonial expansion and locating the grave in Calcutta of Thomas Jones, the Welsh missionary who first arrived in the Khasi Hills.

## Prof Syiemlieh is a recipient of the Charles Wallace Grant for research in the UK; India France Cultural Exchange for research in Paris, and the Senior Fulbright Fellowship for research in the US. He was affiliated to Notre Dame University.

Acknowledging and honouring Prof. Syiemlieh’s feat, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) said that Prof Syiemlieh is a perfect example of a determined educationist who despite all challenges, rose to achieve one of the most respected post in the country.

TNT News with inputs from Wikipedia

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