Kohli is the Vice Chancellor of Central University, Punjab. He is the Fellow of all the four official national academies (FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAAS). He was conferred with the first Haryana Vigyan Ratna Award by the Government of Haryana in 2009, apart from the Punjab Rattan Award in 2008. A senior ecologist with highest global accreditation, he served Panjab University for over 33 years. He is a member of the Project Appraisal Committees (Plant Sciences) of DST, CSIR and UGC and has also been the Chairman of State Expert Appraisal Committee for Environmental Clearance for Chandigarh. He is now on the 18-member Global Task Force on Invasion Ecology. Apart from two patents to his credit, he has published 283 research papers, authored two and edited nine books.