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Covid snuffs out eminent Lucknow University prof

LUCKNOW: Lucknow University lost yet another gem to Covid-19 on Tuesday, when renowned Sanskrit scholar and Padma Shri awardee Prof BK Shukla (58) died battling the virus. He had been admitted in RMLIMS for eight days.
Prof Shukla was the head of the department of Jyotir Vigyan and director of the Abhinavagupt Institute of Aesthetics and Shaiva Philosophy. His untimely death has rendered a blow to these two disciplines he nurtured all through his career. He was planning to start several PhD research courses on Shaivism from the coming session. He was also dean, faculty of arts, and officiating as the head of 12 other departments in which either a dispute over headship was on or a qualified person was not available.
Prof Shukla, survived by his wife, son and daughter, is the fourth professor associated with LU to have succumbed to Covid in the past six months.
He took ill soon after participating in a seminar held on March 23-24 to mark the inauguration of the building of the Abhinavagupt Institute and tested Covid-19 positive on March 28. He was admitted to RMLIMS the next day when his condition deteriorated. He died due to cardiac arrest triggered by respiratory failure.
The demise of the Sanskrit scholar has sent shock waves across the academic world. Social media was flooded with condolence messages and photographs of Prof Shukla receiving Padma Shri from president Ramnath Kovind in 2019 and the inauguration of his institute’s building on March 23. LU also held an online meet to condole his death.
With tears in her eyes, assistant professor in Sanskrit Bhuvneshwari Bhardwaj, who had also been Prof Shukla’s student, said, “It’s not just a loss for LU, but for the entire teaching fraternity across the world and Sanskrit language and research. He authored several papers and books. The list of awards he got is unending.”
LU, colleges shut till April 10: Lucknow University on Tuesday announced to shut its campus and all associated colleges till April 10. On March 31, LU and colleges had decided to switch over to online teaching mode. However, LU teachers’ and employees’ associations have demanded that LU campus be declared a containment zone and closed till April 20 to break the transmission chain. Several family members of teachers down with Covid-19 have also tested positive. “Most of the teachers who got infected and the two professors who died had been coming to the university regularly till March 31,” said LUTA president Prof Vineet Kumar Verma.

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