The Human Resources Development on Tuesday appointed Braj Bihar Kumar the new chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, PTI reported. He will succeed economist SK Thorat (pictured above) who has headed the council since April 2011.

A selection panel comprising National Research Professor Ashok Modak, Panjab University emeritus professor Jitendra Mohan and historian Satish Mittal chose Kumar for the post, reported The Indian Express.

Kumar is the founding member of Astha Bharati – a non-profit society aiming to “promote unity and integrity” in the country. Kumar is the editor of two quarterly journals run by the society, called Dialogue and Chintan Srijan.

The 76-year-old has written, edited and co-authored at least 136 books, PTI reported. He had also served as the principal of Sao Change Government College, Tuensang, Nagaland.

The ICSSR seeks to promote reseach in social sciences in the country. The Council is meant to review, sponsor social research programmes arrange technical training in research methodology.