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Lalit Kala Akademi chairman

New Delhi, Feb. 12: India’s most prestigious state-run art body has finally got a chairman.

President Pranab Mukherjee today cleared former IAS officer Kalyan Chakravarty’s appointment as chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi. The tenure of the last chairman, Ashok Vajpayee, had ended in December 2011.

On January 24 last year, Balan K. Nambiar, a Bangalore-based art scholar, had been appointed acting chairman. The Akademi’s constitution says the process for selecting the new chairman should start six months before the term of the incumbent chairman ends. Nambiar’s term ended in December.

The selection process includes setting up a search committee, which shortlists three names. The names had been finalised in August but the culture ministry, which supervises the process, took its own time to forward them to the President’s secretariat.

Chakravarty will remain chairman till 2017. The 1970-batch IAS officer, who has studied art history in Oxford, has held important posts, including member-secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, director-general, National Museum, New Delhi, and vice-chancellor, National Museum Institute.