(Chronicle Note: Prof. CNR Rao is currently Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. He is 1953 M.Sc Physics graduate from Banaras Hindu University. He supported the conversion of IT-BHU to IIT-BHU. He will receive the Bharat Ratna-the highest award given out by govt. of India on 26 January 2014.
Prof. Rao was the Chief Guest of the IIT-BHU Global Alumni Meet at Bangalore, India held on June 29, 2013.)
Last updated on: November 16, 2013 22:50 IST
Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is the third scientist to be awarded the highest civilian award -- Bharat Ratna, a crowning glory of his inexorable list of outstanding achievements.
Rao was conferred with the honour along with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday.
(Prof. C. N. R. Rao)
Before Rao, C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam were bestowed with the award.
The 79-year-old Prof Rao has honorary doctorates from 60 universities that speaks volumes about the world wide acclamation and recognition that he has earned as a scientist par excellence.
Rao is the third scientist after C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam to be bestowed with the honour.
Rao, founder of the Bangalore-based Jawharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, has served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister under different regimes, a manifestation of immense faith different governments have placed in him.
A renowned scientist and an institution builder, Rao has worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry.
Rao, born on June 30 in 1934 to Hanumantha Nagesa Rao and Nagamma Nagesa Rao in Bangalore, could have settled for a cushy job armed with a BSc in 1951 but his unsatiable quest for learning took him to the path of unending scientific journey.
Rao was thinking of joining IISc for a diploma or a postgraduate degree in chemical engineering after obtaining bachelors degree from Mysore University in 1951 but destiny took him to Banaras Hindu University where he got admitted for a MSc course.
He obtained his Ph.D. in 1958 from Purdue University and joined the faculty of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1963.
The only son to his parents, he grew up in the old part of Bangalore. Rao recalled once that his mother telling him mythological stories and her daily pujas greatly impacted him, which influenced his own journey into spirituality.
"My father wanted me to speak in English too, and it helped that there was an academic atmosphere at home," Rao noted in an article.
During his school days, the freedom movement was in full swing and a young Rao listened to the stirring speeches by leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. He also took part in some of the freedom movement meetings in whatever capacity he could.
During the early years, Rao once recollected, one of the fondest memories was meeting Nobel laureate professor C V Raman when he visited his school in 1946.
MIT, PennState, Columbia and Purdue offered admission with financial support, but Rao chose Purdue, where he completed PhD in two years and nine months, a record of sorts.
Life was on a swing for Rao but home pull prevailed and in 1959 he landed in Bangalore to join the IISc as a lecturer on a monthly salary of Rs 500.
Rao has made immense contributions to nanomaterials over the last two decades, besides his work on hybrid materials. He has worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry.
His work on transition metal oxides has led to basic understanding of novel phenomena and the relationship between materials properties and the structural chemistry of these materials.
Rao was one of the earliest to synthesize two-dimensional oxide materials such as La2CuO4 and his work has led to a systematic study of compositionally controlled metal-insulator transitions.
Such studies have had a profound impact in application fields such as colossal magneto resistance and high temperature superconductivity.
He is the author of around 1,500 research papers and authored and edited 45 books.
Rao is currently is serving as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
It has been fame and glory all through for Rao until two years ago when he was involved in a plagiarism related controversy.
He had been accused of indulging and allowing plagiarism.
In December 2011, Rao apologised to 'Advanced Materials' -- a peer-reviewed journal, for reproducing text of other scientists in his research paper.
Rao's collaborator and other senior author of the paper Professor S B Krupanidhi accused a co-author PhD student at IISc for the mistake.
"These sentences were part of the introduction of the paper, which was written by our student, that neither of us -- namely, the senior authors, Rao and Krupanidhi -- paid attention to."
The PhD student took the responsibility for the incident and issued an apology. Later Rao offered to withdraw the article from the journal, but the editor let the publication stay as it is.
Rao is also the recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan and Karnataka Ratna, the state's highest civilian honour.
Rao received Honorary Doctorates from many Universities spread across the world such as Colorado, Khartoum, Liverpool and Oxford among others. He is currently the National Research Professor and Linus Pauling Research Professor and Honorary President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore.
He is also the director of the International Centre for Materials Science.
Rao has been bestowed with other awards such as Hughes Medal by the Royal Society in 2000 and he became the first recipient of the India Science Award, instituted by the Union government for his contributions to solid state chemistry and materials science in 2004.
The important academic positions Rao held include; Prof of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
(Head of Department and later Dean of Research of the Institute) (1963-76), Visiting Professor, Purdue University, 1967-68, Commonwealth Visiting Professor, University of Oxford and Fellow, St. Catherine's College, Oxford (1974-75).
He was also Distinguished Visiting Professor, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow, King's College, Cambridge
Rao is the Founder Chairman, Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit and Materials Research Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science (1977-84).
He was also Director, Indian Institute of Science (1984-94), Visiting Professor, University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France (1990), Honorary Professor, University of Wales, Cardiff (1993-1997), President, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (1989-99), Albert Einstein Research Professor (1995-1999) Honorary Professor, Indian Institute of Science (1994).
Rao is also Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society, London and Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, USA and Founding Fellow and Third World Academy of Sciences, among others.
Important positions in National and International Bodies include Chairman, Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Immediate Past President, The Academy of Sciences for the developing world (TWAS), Trieste, Chairman, National Nano Initiative, Government of India and Member, Atomic Energy Commission of India.
Rao had also served as Member, Planning Commission, Government of India and Chairman and Director of Reserve Bank of India.
At the Hall of Sciences at JNCASR are a bust of Rao's guru Pauling -- one of the two greatest scientists of the 20th century (the other being Einstein).
Rao's advice to school children who visit JNCASR is dream big, study hard, and study science.
BHU V-C congratulates Bharat Ratna CNR Rao
TNN Nov 18, 2013, 07.23 AM IST
CNR Rao has been a source of inspiration for young scientists. Banaras Hindu University family is feeling honoured with the announcement of Bharat Ratna to an alumnus, BHU vice-chancellor Lalji Singh said.
Singh extended congratulation to Rao, the eminent scientist of solid-state and structural chemistry. The BHU annually gives CNR Rao Award for achieving Excellence in Research to emerging scientists for their outstanding scientific contributions. Rao, who obtained masters degree from BHU, has great regard for his alma mater. The BHU had also honoured Rao with DSc (honoris causa) and Distinguished Alumnus Award.
"It was in Banaras that I took the decision to pursue scientific research as my life's mission," writes Rao in his autobiography. In an interview in Current Science in May 2011, he stated: "UP was a wonderful place in those days. People were warm and they welcomed everybody. BHU had a few students from UP. When I was there, out of about 20 students, two or three were from UP, rest were from Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu."
Delivering a lecture at BHU in March 2007, Rao highlighted the need for increasing investment in science, technology and education. "By increasing the share of education in GDP from 3% to 6% and of science and technology from 2%, we could think of restructuring these crucial areas for national development," he said. Rao, who heads of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry. He has honorary doctorates from 60 universities worldwide and he has authored around 1,500 research papers and 45 scientific books.
Campus News: Prof. CNR Rao Comes to IT-BHU
Published in March 2007 issue of Chronicle:
March 23, 2007
Arun @ Mar 23, 2007
Prof. CNR Rao is the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister; President Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore; Chairman Indo-Japan Science Council and the list goes on and on. But the most apt address for him is a pioneer for science in India.
How Prof. CNR Rao came to IT-BHU is a story worth telling.
It all began with Pushpendra Kumar, a student of fourth mechanical in IT-BHU, facing technical difficulties while working on a hydrogen genset project. Feeling perplexed he decided to seek help from some of India’s renowned professors at the IITs and other renowned universities, e-mailing them his problem and requesting suggestions. However, he was greatly disappointed when he didn’t receive even a single reply. So, Pushpendra carried on the best he could.
Meanwhile, one of his papers titled “Safety Aspects of Hydrogen” was selected in the International Conference on Hydrogen held in Jaipur in November 2006. While going through the brochure of the conference Pushpendra saw that CNR Rao was the national advisor to the board. Being an optimist he decided to e-mail him as well, though previous experiences told him that any help would be unlikely. So he was naturally very surprised when he received a response, referring him to Dr AK Shukla, Director Central Electrochemical Research Institute Karaikudi, who conducted research in a similar field. With Prof. Rao’s reference he contacted Dr AK Shukla and promptly received his assistance.
Pushpendra recalled Prof. Rao’s statement in the newspapers that “Science in India will die within the next few years”. He had several questions for Prof. Rao regarding this statement, so he requested him to deliver a seminar on the “Science Scenario in India” in IT-BHU. Prof. Rao had surprised Pushpendra once before when he took time to assist him with his technical problem, but he was absolutely astounded when Prof. Rao, despite his very busy schedule, agreed to his request. Prof. SN Upadhyay, Director IT-BHU gave Pushpendra’s suggestion the thumbs up and a seminar was scheduled during Prof. Rao’s visit to BHU in March 07.
On 12th March at 4.00 PM, Prof. Rao delivered his seminar in G-11 before a huge audience comprising of students and faculty members of IT-BHU. He talked of how the contribution of India to global research has fallen over the past ten years. He encouraged the audience to shrug off mediocrity and produce high quality research and asked the youth of India to step forward and lead the country to better things.
For more about Prof. CNR Rao, please read http://www.jncasr.ac.in/cnrrao/
*Prof. C. N. R. Rao in Wikipedia
*Profile of Prof. CNR Rao on Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India
The next issue will be January 2014 issue, to be published by the end of January.
Now Chronicle will be published 8 times a year (January, February, March, May, July, September, October and November)
The Chronicle is the voice of our IIT-BHU community. We need more news, reports, photos, etc. from students, faculty and alumni. Please send your news at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for submitting articles is 15th of publishing month.
The current chronicle issue contains the following news and articles:
*Prof CNR Rao (MSc Physics in 1953 from BHU) receives Bharat Ratna Award from Government of India
*Provides news on BHU, IITs, IIT-JEE and important national education news
*IIT-BHU pays homage to President Nelson Mandela, who was conferred the degree of laws (Honoris Causa) in 1990 by BHU.
*A special report on India’s launch of Mangalyaan to Mars on November 5, 2013.
* Campus View page
* Prof. M. A. Quraishi (Department of Applied Chemistry) received Excellence award in Corrosion Science and Technology in New Delhi
*IIT-BHU team runner up at GE Edison Challenge 2013, wins Rs. 5 lakh prize
* Alumni World page
*2014 Publication Awards for students/faculty- announcement
*2014 Student Awards-announcement
*Alumni in news including: Sarvajna Dwivedi (B. Pharm 1984) sold Pearl Pharmaceutics to AstraZeneca for $1.15 Billion; Remembering Satyendra Dubey (Civil M. Tech 1996) who died fighting against corruption;
* Interview with the Director of our institute, Prof. Rajeev Sangal (interview taken by Pulkit Goel and shobhit Subhankar)
*Interview with social worker and Magsaysay Award winnder Dr. Sandeep Pandey (Mechanical 1986) Sangal (interview taken by Miss Kriti Pandey and shobhit Subhankar)
* Interview with Prof. E. C. Subbarao (Glass Technology 1949), Chief Consulting Advisor, Tata Research Development and Design Center (Tata Consultancy Services), Pune
* Interview with Dr. Rameshwar Srivastava (Chemical 1962) among co-authors for Perry’s Handbook for Chemical Engineers
*Scholarly published articles collected around the world on topics such as science and Technology, Business, arts, politics, education, health, world affairs, etc.
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