9th Mile, Ri Bhoi, 12 February, 2019: Meghalaya Governor Shri Tathagata Roy conferred Hon. D.Litt. Degree upon eminent educationist and Former Chairman of UPSC, New Delhi, Prof David R Syiemliehat the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya on 11 February for his exceptional and outstanding contributions to the world in the field of academic development, policy formulation and implementation. The Degree was conferred at the Central Auditorium of USTM by the Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya and Visitor, USTM in the presence of Shri Lakhmen Rymbui, Minister of Education, Meghalaya; Mr Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor, USTM; Lt Gen Zamir Uddin Shah, Pro Chancellor, USTM; Dr P K Goswami, Vice Chancellor, USTM, apart from others.
Accepting the award, Prof. Syiemlieh thanked USTM and said that academic work must be accompanied by a human touch as it should be beneficial for the betterment of humanity. A perfect example of a determined educationist who despite all challenges, rose to achieve one of the most respected post in the country, Prof. David R. Syiemlieh was born on 22 January 1953 and educated at Dr. Graham’s Homes, Kampong.Prof. Syiemlieh graduated with history honours from St. Edmund’s College, Shillong. This was followed with the degrees of MA History, MPhil and PhD from the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. He first taught undergraduates in St. Edmund’s College before joining the Department of History, NEHU, in 1979 and rose in the profession to become Professor in the Department of History. He held numerous positions in the University, including Dean of Students’ Welfare; Controller of Examinations; Registrar and Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Prof. Syiemlieh was appointed Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh in October 2011. He was then appointed by the President of India as Member, Union Public Service Commission and he held that office till January 2017. Prof. Syiemlieh was Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission of India from January 2017 to January 2018.
A gold medalist for securing the first position with first class at the MA History, 1976, and awarded the J. J. M. Nichols-Roy award 1976,Prof. Syiemlieh has been a Senior Fulbright Fellow , Charles Wallace grantee, and researched on an India France Cultural Exchange grant.Prof. Syiemlieh is the author/ editor of several books on the North East, including: ‘Survey of Research in History on North East India 1970-1990’, ‘Early States in North East India’,‘On the Edge of Empire: Four British Plans for North East India’, ‘Layers of History: Essays on the Khasi-Jaintias’.
Prof. Syiemlieh served aspresident of the North East India History Association (2010) . He was Honorary Director of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, North Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong; Member of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi and Member, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. Since his retirement as Professor and Chairman UPSC, Prof. Syiemlieh continues to lecture on the history of the North East at several universities and mentors scholars researching on the region. He is currently engaged in the preparation of two manuscripts