Political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta will step down as vice chancellor of Ashoka University from August 1, the institution located in Haryana’s Sonipat said in a statement on Saturday evening. He will be replaced by Malabika Sarkar, Ashoka’s Principal Advisor (Academic) and former Dean of Faculty and Research of the University.

Mehta “has stepped down as Vice-Chancellor to focus on his academic ambitions,” the statement said. He will continue to teach at the university.

“For the past some time, I have been a little stretched by the time that the increasing complexity of tasks that a fast growing university like Ashoka demands from a role as critical as that of the Vice-Chancellor,” the statement quoted Mehta as saying. “I am personally at a stage where I would like to complete some longstanding academic tasks that I had set myself. Therefore, it seemed an appropriate time to hand over the baton to very competent hands while continuing to play an even more active part in the academic life of the University.”

Mehta, who has a PhD in politics from Princeton University, was previously the president of the Center for Policy Research think tank. He has been a professor at Harvard, Jawaharlal Nehru University and on the Global Faculty Program at NYU Law School.

Sarkar is a former Vice-Chancellor of Kolkata’s Presidency University.