Dr. Mohanty was born in Odisha in 1959. He completed his graduation in 1979 with Honours in Physics from MPC College, Baripada and his post-graduation in 1981 from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. In 1983, he joined the Nuclear Physics Division, BARC after graduating from the 26th Batch of BARC Training School. He obtained his doctorate from Mumbai University.
Dr. Mohanty worked in several areas of nuclear physics covering collision energy from the sub-Coulomb barrier to the relativistic regime using the Pelletron accelerator at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), PHENIX, and CMS experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), USA and CERN, Geneva.
Dr. Mohanty held several honorary positions at various organizations. He served the Indian Physics Association (IPA) as General Secretary and later as its President. He had been the Spokesperson for India-CMS collaboration, Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, and Director BARC. He has twice been the CERN Scientific Associate, first during 2002-2004 and again during 2010-2011.
Dr. Mohanty is a recipient of the Young Physicist Award from the Indian Physical Society in 1988, the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award in 1991 and the Homi Bhabha Science and Technology Award of the Department of Atomic Energy in 2001. Dr. Mohanty was conferred Honorary Doctrin of Literature (D.Litt.) Honoris Causa by the Utkal University in 2021.
Dr. Ajit Kumar Mohanty took charge of Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy on May 03, 2023.