Sunday, November 17, 2013

Congratulations to Prof. C.N.R. Rao

He joins Bharat Ratnas C.V. Raman (1954), M. Visvesvaraya (1955), and Abdul Kalam (1997) to take the S&T count to four (out of forty three).

Gopal Raj at The Hindu and Pallava Bhagla at NDTV have written credible summaries of the Prof. Rao's career, while The Hindu has the first reactions from India's science biggies.

Prof. Rao is probably getting annoyed by all the news coverage portraying him as the "other" Bharat Ratna. Grating though they may be, the twin spotlight on Prof. Rao and Sachin Tendulkar, and the inevitable parallels between them -- dependable consistency, prolific scores, centuries, child-like enthusiasm coupled with a professional approach, and the sheer length of their career at the highest level -- do have the virtue of getting a lot of people to relate better to Prof. Rao's pursuit of science.

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Update: G.S. Mudur's piece in The Telegraph is also pretty good.


  1. ಅರುಣ ಪ್ರಕಾಶ said...

    It can be easily said - that is a Bharata Ratna well deserved!! Congrats to Prof. Rao.

  2. Ungrateful Alive said...

    I have browsed a bit of popular press about CNRR in search for not exactly a secret sauce but some guidelines that can make younger researchers attain a tiny percentage of his flabbergasting productivity. CNRR got accepted one paper every 13 days over 40+ years! While he was writing an average of one book a year, and presumably eating, bathing and sleeping a little too. In contrast, I struggle to put together and proofread a paper within 13 days, after working on it 6--8 months typically. Am I a big leech on taxpayer money? Should I resign/retire? If I am to justify my job (or indeed, breathing), how can I improve my productivity an epsilon by using his valuable life lessons? Not enough is in the public domain about this, and would be really nice to know for the whole research community. Sure, hardly anyone will turn out like him, but each of us can always improve.

  3. Raj said...

    Nice to see someone from Material Science field getting this honor. While there may be parallels to Sachin in some of the qualities, there is one difference between them: I don't remember a single instance of Sachin dissing others in press conferences.I am surprised when a top scientist trashes IT guys as money grubbing unhappy bunch while he is such a happy person. Is it more than just annoyance? And that too against lowly IT programmers? Hmmm.
    I wonder what his take is on Universities/professors working on corporate projects to get funding for research. Then the dependency on politicians to get funding would reduce.

  4. Raj said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  5. Vijay Sethuraman said...

    Dear Prof. Abi,

    That number could be five if you include Prof. Amartya Sen (1999).