Mata Prasad (Electrical 1954) - an expert in electrical protection systems
Chronicle Editor @ Aug 28, 2008
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abcd.pngThe Guru
PAC World: Would you tell us something about the places where you were born and where you grew-up?
MP: I was born at Varanasi, UP on 3rd April 1932 and completed High School (Commerce) from Sanatan Dharam High School in 1948, Intermediate (Science) from Banaras Hindu University 1950 and B.Sc., Electrical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1954, in Varanasi.

PAC World: Do you think there was something special during your school years that affected your future?
MP: I was quite keen to study engineering, especially mechanical engineering, since the day I started school due to my special fascination for machines and mechanical gadgets. Unfortunately, I had to continue my academic education until high school with non-science subjects like commerce, bookkeeping and accounting. However this did not discourage me from pursuing an engineering education.
PAC World: Did your family influence your career?
MP: I lost my father in 1948 just before my high school examination. The inspirational support I received from my creative mother gave me all the strength to complete my engineering courses - securing first division in all the four years of my engineering education.
I believe, it was God's wish that none of my close relatives came forward to guide or support me in my efforts and I surrendered to Almighty God to guide me all the way. This proved to be a blessing as I received all the help from HIM and I never felt alone. The strength of my mother and guidance from Above kept me fully energized to realize my objectives.

PAC World: Did you have any special interests while in school?
MP: I did have interest in pencil sketching, instrumental music, drama and some games like volleyball, but my special inclination was towards reading everything I could lay my hands on, including novels, stories and mythological/religious masterpieces like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad-Gita. The contribution and direct influence from Shri Jaishankar Prasad, a great name in Hindi literature who was a close friend of my father and quite influential. I had time allotted to study my normal course and general literature studies that did not leave me time for indoor or outdoor games. I always felt a shortage of available time during my youth and even today I feel that there isn't enough time and so many things to do.

PAC World: How and when did you decide to study electrical engineering?
MP: The four year engineering course at BHU consisted of two years for combined study in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. In the third year, one has to select whether to pursue a mechanical or electrical discipline.
As I said earlier, I had a blind infatuation for mechanical engineering however a group of my Electrical Engineering professors, especially Prof PC Dutt, Prof MC Pandey and Principal M Sengupta advised me to choose electrical engineering as they felt that I was more suited for it.
Today I must admit that my professors correctly judged my aptitude and I owe everything to them.

PAC World: Did you study protection while in university?
MP: Yes, I did study basics of Protection relaying covering Generator, Transformer and Transmission Lines and this particular topic fascinated me especially when I had gone through some of the classic relaying schemes described by Lewis and Tippet, Montieth and others published in AIEEE Transactions . I was later exposed to protection philosophy when I joined active service in UP Electricity Department in 1957.

PAC World: Did you have any other interests while studying? Sports? Music? Arts?
MP: As I said earlier, I did have great interest in music and arts but I could never fulfill my desire to accomplish anything further in this regard. I was very good in pencil sketching of portraits and landscapes. I should have continued in these fields at least after retirement!

PAC World: Where did you start your career? Did you work on power system protection from the beginning?
MP: From October 1954 to January 1955 I was under training in Rihand Hydro project department and then shifted to field duties - responsible for surveying and construction of 33 kV double circuit lines. After joining the Electricity Department as Assistant Project Engineer in 1957, the first technical job allotted to me was to study the Protection System for Rihand Power Plant and draw specifications for protection of 132 kV lines and substations. Thus, I started my career with Protection and that became my first love.

PAC World: Would you describe the most challenging project that you have been involved in?
MP: There were scores of challenging jobs entrusted to me and successfully delivered. For example, the interconnection system of the Obra 1000 MW power plant with nine 400 kV lines of length varying from 140 to 400 km. In 1984, I joined NTPC on deputation for the HVDC Projects and also for handling the associated 400 kV lines from power plants and interconnected network. I had the privilege to be actively associated with the first 400 kV Static Var Compensators at Kanpur, the first 2*250 MW
Asynchronous Back-to-Back HVDC Link between Northern and Western Regions, the first 810 KM Long +/- 500 kV Bulk Power HVDC Transmission from the Rihand Power plant to the Dadri HVDC Receiving Station.

PAC World: You received several awards for science and technology in your country. Would you describe some of them and why you did receive them?
MP: God was very kind to me that I received the following prestigious awards:
CBIP Golden Jubilee award in 1982 for my contribution for successful execution of field tests on 400 KV system
NPSC Award in 1991 for Excellence in Power System Management
"Distinguished Member" of CIGRE (France) Award in 1996 for my contribution in CIGRE Activities in India and abroad
CIGRE Technical Committee Award in 1997 for Outstanding Contribution in SC 14 HVDC & Power Electronics
Scroll of Honour from Institution Of Engineers (I) Calcutta in 1997 as Eminent Engineer
Fellowship of Indian National Academy of Engineering in 1998
CEA Silver Jubilee Celebrations Award for Excellence in Design and Engineering of Power Sector in 2000
Life Time Achievement Award by IEEEMA in 2008 for my contribution on Switchgear and Control Industry in India.

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1 Comment(s) (The views expressed here are those of the commenters, and is not responsible for them.)
 Anil Prajapati Addl AEN, Jaipur said:

i am really inspired by such an eminenet personality. pl. guide us in protection field to learn basics and more.

November 24, 2008 7:39 AM

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