● Appointed in July 2014 by the HRD minister Smriti Irani. He was earlier a professor of history at Kakatiya University. Rao headed the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), the history wing of the RSS.

● In his ‘Indian Caste System: A Reappraisal,’ Rao says, “The system was working well in ancient times. It is often misinterpreted as an exploitative social system for retaining economic and social status of certain vested interests of the ruling class applying the Marxist jargon which has no respect for the ancient systems and philosophy whether Indian or the other.” He is also working on a project that aims to fix the date of the Mahabharat war.

● In April, historian Sabyasachi Bhattacharya resigned as chief editor of Indian Historical Review, the journal of ICHR. In May, the ICHR disbanded the 22-member advisory committee to the journal. Gopinath Ravindran, member secretary of ICHR, quit in June though his term expires in 2016.

● Rao told The Hindu in May that the time had come to research the traditional sources of knowledge and look at the traditional ways in which history has been written. In January, he recommended Narayan Rao, Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma and Nikhilesh Guha, members of the ABISY, to the top panel of ICHR.