PURNIA (TIP) : Legendary mathematician VashishthaNarayan Singh, who had been languishing in penury, has joined the BhupendraNarayanMandal University (BNMU) in Madhepura as a visiting professor. The 67-year-old Singh started work on April 17 after the university’s academic council gave the goahead to his appointment following media reports, about how he was living like a destitute in his village home at Basantpur in Bhojpur district, 70km from Patna. Singh, who has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, is a schizophrenia patient. “It was a day of pride for BNMU when Singh accepted the university’s offer,” Anant Kumar, the university’s vice-chancellor, said on Thursday. He expressed confidence that Singh’s health would improve fast as a result of his association with academia again. “Teaching has always been Singh’s first love,” Kumar said.
An alumnus of the well-known Netarhat School, Singh was in the US from 1965 to 1974 and worked on space theory at Nasa before returning home. He tied the knot in 1974, but his wife deserted him after he suffered his first attack of schizophrenia in 1976. He has taught at IIT Kanpur, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai) and the Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata). “An extraordinary teacher of mathematics, Singh will prove an asset to the university and a guiding spirit for research scholars and postgraduate students,” syndicate member Jai Krishna Mehta said.
Former university faculty member Umesh Nandan hoped the appointment as a visiting professor would help Singh lead a normal, decent life. Registrar B N ‘Vibeka’ told TOI the university was yet to take a decision on the pay package to be offered to Singh. “He will be paid as per the provisions and statutes that govern the universities of the state,” he said. In his conversations with the university’s teachers and officials, Singh said he was fond of teaching functional mathematics. Singh, who arrived at the university headquarters on Tuesday, was accompanied by his brother Ayodhya Singh and nephew Nitesh Kumar Singh. In conversation with the university teachers and officials, including registrar B N ‘Vibeka’, Singh said he was very fond of teaching functional mathematics. He likes reading religious books and plays the flute as well in his spare time.