Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said on Thursday that actor Paresh Rawal has been appointed the chairperson of the National School of Drama.

“Eminent artist @SirPareshRawal has been appointed as the chairman of NSD by the President of India,” Patel tweeted. “Artists and students of the country will benefit from his talent.”

Rawal has been appointed for a period of four years, Ministry of Culture Media Advisor Nitin Tripathi said, according to The Print. “The post has been vacant since August 2017 and has been filled,” he said. “The ministry sent a list of names and the president has appointed Paresh Rawal for a period of four years as per the relevant rules and regulations.”

Rawal told PTI after his appointment that the role will be “challenging but fun”. “I will do my best because this is a field I know very well,” he said.

Playwright Ratan Thiyam had served as the chairperson of the National School of Drama from 2013 to 2017. Dr Arjun Deo, a Rajasthani poet, critic, playwright, theatre director and translator, is the vice chairperson of the institution, and worked as acting head from 2017, the Hindustan Times reported.

Rawal, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, had opted out of contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had said in a tweet that he would not contest the polls even if he was given a ticket. The actor had won from Ahmedabad East constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of over 3.25 lakh votes.

Rawal is known for playing comic roles in films such as Andaz Apna Apna and Hera Pheri. In 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri.