About Prof. Ajit Mohanty

Ajit Mohanty (b. 23 January 1946), Ph. D. (Alberta, Canada), was an ICSSR National Fellow after his retirement in 2011 as Professor of Psychology (and former Chairperson) in Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He taught in different Universities for 42 years including 28 years as a Professor. He became a Professor in Utkal University in the year 1983 when he was 37, the youngest Professor in the country. He has over 180 publications in different National and International Journals and as Book Chapters and 8 books, in the area of psychology and language studies. His latest book is The Multilingual Reality: Living with Languages, published by Multilingual Matters, UK/USA (2019). He was a Professor and Chairperson at the Centre of Advanced Study in Psychology, Utkal University and President of the National Academy of Psychology, India. During 2007-2008, he was Fulbright Visiting Professor in Columbia University, New York. Earlier he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Killam Scholar (University of Alberta), and Senior Fellow (Central Institute of Indian Languages). He has delivered invited lectures in Universities in USA, Australia, South Africa, UK, the Netherland, Greece, Germany, Japan, China, Malaysia, Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico, Thailand and Canada and other international institutions. He was invited by the British Council to deliver the Inaugural Plenary Lecture in the International Language and Development Conference, 2015. He also addressed the 2013 Language and Development Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Professor Mohanty delivered the Nehru Chair Lecture in M. S. University, Baroda. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto, Canada.

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, 2013 (Springer) carries a Biographical entry on Professor Ajit Mohanty for his eminent contributions to the field of Applied Educational Linguistics. He has served in the Editorial Boards of several international Journals including International Journal of Multilingualism, Language Policy, Culture & Cognition and Psychological Studies. He is the founder Director of two International Projects “From Mother Tongue to Other Tongue” and the “National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium” (www.nmrc-jnu.org) at JNU. He was an International Consultant to Governments of Finland and Nepal for Developing Multilingual Education Policy and Strategy for Nepal. Professor Mohanty Chaired the Policy Development Team and drafted the 2014 Policy for Mother Tongue based Multilingual Education for tribal children in Odisha. He has also drafted two Odisha State Policies for Early Childhood Care and Education and Odisha Child Policy. He was a awarded Fellowship of the National Academy of Psychology, India (voluntarily relinquished in 2022). He is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, USA “in recognition of (his) sustained outstanding contributions to advancement of psychological science”. Professor Mohanty was a UGC Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Utkal University.

Professor Mohanty is a writer, an essayist and a columnist in Odia. He has written weekly columns for over 15 years in major newspapers in Odisha. Collection of his essays on language (Bhāsā Kathā, Bhāsā Byathā) is published by Gyanajuga Publications and two books – one on human relations and society (Samparka) and another on childhood (Pilanka Katha) – are in press. Promotion of education in mother tongue is Professor Mohanty’s life-time ideology, research, effort and ambition and Odia language, his love.

Short CV Download


 B.A. (Hons), M.A., LL.B. (Utkal), Ph.D. (Alberta, Canada)

 FAPS (Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, USA)

Education and Post Doctoral Work

 M.A. (Psychology): Utkal University (1969) First Class (1st Rank)

 Ph. D. (Psycholinguistics) Dept. of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Canada (1977)

 Post -Doctoral (Fulbright) Fellow (1981-82) University of Wisconsin, Madison


 Consultant, University of Cambridge & University of Reading, UK (2016 - 2020) for the project ES/N010345/1: Multilingualism and Multiliteracy: Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems

 Jawaharlal Nehru University: ICSSR National Fellow, 2011- 2013

 M. S. University, Baroda: Nehru Chair Professor (Dept. of Human Development & Family Studies), 2012

 Jawaharlal Nehru University: Founder Director & Chief Adviser, National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium (NMRC www.nmrc-jnu.org)

 Jawaharlal Nehru University: Professor, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, 2003- 2011 (Chairperson, 2005-2007)

 Utkal University: Professor of Psychology, 1983 – 2003 (Chairperson, 1992-94)

 Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore: Senior Fellow, 1986-87

 University of Alberta: Killam Doctoral Fellow (1974 -77), Sessional Lecturer (1975-77)

Fellowships/Awards/Academic Honours

 National Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research (Fellowship awarded in 2011-2013)

 Nehru Chair Professor, M. S. University, Baroda (Dept. of Human Development & Family Studies, 2012)

 Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, USA. (Fellowship conferred in 2010)

 Fellow, National Academy of Psychology, India. (Fellowship conferred in 2010 & voluntarily relinquished in 2022)

 Fulbright Visiting Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University (2007-2008)

 President, National Academy of Psychology (India), 1997

 Senior Fulbright Fellow, University of Wisconsin, USA, (1981-82)

 Sir Izak Walton Killam Doctoral Fellow, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Lecturer & Assistant Professor (Special Sessions) 1973-77, University of Alberta, Canada


 Prof. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Department of Language & Culture, Roskilde University Post Box-260, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark. email: skutnabbkangas@gmail.com

 Prof. Jim Cummins, OISE, University of Toronto, Canada. email: jcummins@oise.utoronto.ca

 Prof. Prakash Padakannaya, Former Professor of Psychology, University of Mysore & Ashoka University, INDIA. email: prakashp99@gmail.com

Policy and Planning Assignments

 Member, National Focus Group for Language Education Position Paper (based on the New Education Policy, 2020, India)

 Member, NCERT Focus Group for Wording Paper on Language Education Position Paper (based on the New Education Policy, 2020, India)

 Chaired Committee for Development of Early Childhood Care & Education Policy (0-6 years) for Odisha, India & Drafted the Policy (Pending with the Government of Odisha) (Collaboration with the Department of Psychology, Utkal University, Funded by UNICEF, Odisha).

 Chaired Committee for Development of Odisha Child Policy (0-18 years) for the Government of Odisha, India & Drafted the Policy (Pending with the Government of Odisha) (Collaboration with State Commission for Protection of Child Rights & the Department of Sociology, Utkal University, Funded by UNICEF, Odisha).

 Developed Multilingual Education Policy for Nepal in 2009 (with Tove Skutnabb-Kangas on invitation under Finland-Nepal Collaboration)

 Chaired Committee for Development of Multilingual Education Policy and Guidelines for Tribal Children of Odisha, India & Drafted the Policy accepted and notified by the Government of Odisha in July 2014.

 Executive Member, ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) Council, Government of Odisha (India) 2016-

 Member, Advisory Committee, Centre for Cognitive & Behavioural Sciences (UGC Centre for Excellence), University of Allahabad.