What makes Prof. C.N.R Rao a notable figure in the Indian scientific field?

Prof. C.N.R. Rao is a world-famous Indian scientist specialising in solid state and structural chemistry.

He did research in superconductivity, and his latest research is on the wonder material graphene and artificial photosynthesis.

Prof. Rao was a single child. His father was an Inspector of Schools, but surprisingly, he did not go to elementary school. He was coached at home by his mother. His parents saw to it that he was fluent in both English and his mother-tongue, Kannada.

Rao’s passion for chemistry started during his high school years and he chose Chemistry for his higher studies, and went to the Banaras Hindu University for his Master’s. Later, he got scholarship offers to do Ph.D. from four foreign universities: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State, Columbia and Purdue. He went to Purdue and completed his Ph.D in 2 years and nine months in 1958. He was only 24!

84 universities have given him honorary doctorates. He has 54 books and around 1,774 research publications.

He is the founder president of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, and was the chairman of the science advisory council to the prime minister for many years. He is also Founding Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences.

Now, have a look at some of the awards and honours received by this great man:

  • Marlow Medal
  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology
  • Hughes Medal
  • India Science Award
  • Dan David Prize
  • Royal Medal
  • Von Hippel Award
  • ENI award
  • Padma Shri
  • Padma Vibhushan

On 16 November 2013, the Government of India selected him for Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. Thus he became the third scientist after C.V. Raman and APJ. Abdul Kalam to receive the Bharat Ratna.

Picture credit: Google

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