BangaloreProfessor 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, reports PTI.

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 obtainingbachelors degree from Mysore University in 1951 but destiny took him to Banaras Hindu University (BHU) 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.

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