«Edited by Govindjee Urbana, Illinois, USA and Shyam Lal Srivastava Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India i The Cover A photograph of Krishnaji (Dada), 1980 ...»
I wanted to be a good researcher - I feel am not. I wanted to be a good man - I could never please others. I wanted to search my own path – I felt lost. I may have judged myself harshly; however, writing this recollection of Professor Krishnaji (i.e., Dada) makes me feel good.
Professor Krishnaji: A Great Scientist and a Great Human Being Prem Chand Pandey Center for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Sciences (CORAL) Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur-721302, India Email: email@example.com (Formerly at The National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Headland Sada, Vasco-Da-Gama, Goa-403804, India) I joined Professor Krishnaji’s Microwave Research Laboratory (MRL) as a research scholar in 1968; I left the laboratory in early 1973, after receiving my doctorate degree, to join the Indian Government Service. In those days, MRL was known the world over for its pioneering and indigenous efforts in microwave research, in terms of setting up the experimental research facilities, novel observations, and their interpretations to bring out the science behind them. Many leading scientists and research scholars, both from India and abroad, when visiting Allahabad University, never missed an opportunity to visit MRL. The air-conditioned laboratory with stimulating scientific environment made that Laboratory a very special one. I had been Professor Krishnaji’s student both at graduate and post graduate levels and I was a part of MRL.
When I joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA, to work as NRC (National Research Council) Senior Resident Research Associate in 1980, I spotted MRL Research Report at JPL’s microwave laboratory and I was thrilled to see that it was consulted by many scientists in that laboratory. The MRL has produced a record number of PhDs and scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and all the students have occupied many important positions both in India and abroad. Prof. Krishnaji is regarded as one of the pioneers of Microwave Research in India.
Besides being a great teacher and researcher, Professor Krishnaji was a great human being. He was perhaps born for the students. When I was completing my PhD and my thesis was in advanced stages of typing, I had to slow down since I did not have the money required by the University for submitting my thesis. Professor Krishnaji came to know about this and he called me in his office and handed over the cheque and asked me to pay the University the required fees and submit the thesis to the University.
Tea-time was one of the great features of Prof. Krishnaji’s Laboratory. That time he used to utilize to know from every research scholar and the supervisors the latest that was happening in the laboratory and elsewhere. He always encouraged us to work as a team and help each other. Once a student Mr. A.V. Rao from Andhra University came to the microwave research laboratory (MRL) of the Physics Department to work on dielectric measurements; we were told to help him and give priority to his work. Initially, he came to work on few samples for few weeks, but he was so fascinated with the work culture of MRL that he was allowed to complete almost all his thesis work in Prof. Krishnaji’s Laboratory. That was the greatness of Professor Krishnaji.
I am now an Emeritus Professor at IIT (Kharagpur) and was the former founding director of the NCAOR in Goa. Whatever little I have accomplished in my career, it is all due to the blessing and the seeds sown by Professor Krishnaji and many of his illustrious students.
Some of his students were also my teachers. To name a few: Suresh Chandra, Shyam Lal Srivastava, Vinod Prakash, Pradip Kumar, Gopal Krishna Pandey, Suresh Chandra Srivastava, Suresh Chandra Agrawal and Vinai Krishna Agrawal.
For us Krishnaji is immortal.
A Tribute to Professor Krishnaji, an Academic Colossus Nabin Kumar Narain Gandhi Engineering College, Madanpur Khurda, Bhubaneshwar-752054, Orissa, India E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com P aying tribute to the great academician Professor Krishnaji, Professor of Physics, and Ex Pro-Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University, is a humbling experience for me since I genuinely feel that I am too small a human being to describe his scholarship and sterling qualities. Words cannot do justice to the multi-faceted dimension of his unique personality. He was a university teacher par excellence who will always be remembered for his pioneering and seminal work in the field of microwaves. In fact, the Microwave Laboratory developed and installed by him at Allahabad University was the first of its kind in India. In recognition of his contribution to research and higher education in the field of science, he received the prestigious Sir C.V. (Chandrasekhara Venkat) Raman National Award.
He was also a visiting Professor in Australia.
Krishnaji was not only a learned academic, but had the acumen of an administrator. He had an extraordinary personality that included a fine blend of these qualities. Thus, in addition to carrying out beautifully his academic commitments, he excelled in the field of administration as he steered Allahabad University successfully through turbulent times in his capacity as the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University.
I recall, with reverence and fondness, my memories associated with this great personality. I joined Allahabad University as a research scholar in 1970 under his supervision. After obtaining a PhD degree in 1976, I continued post-doctoral work under him for the next two years till I joined the National Institute of Technology at Jameshedpur in 1978. In February 2009 I joined Gandhi Engineering College, Madanpur Khurda, Bhubaneshwar as its Director. Krishnaji was a father figure to all the students and scholars who came under his gentle and kind influence. I was fortunate to receive his affection and blessings. In fact, during my early days as a research scholar, I had the privilege of staying with him as one of his family members since I could not get accommodation in any hostel. I continued to enjoy his warm and fatherly concern throughout my stay at Allahabad University. I cannot forget his role in molding my personality and his contribution in my academic achievements. He has been my inspiration and a role model.
It is my firm belief that what I learned from him will continue to guide me in the future, especially in moments of crisis, doubt and uncertainty.
Professor Krishnaji – A Great Visionary and His Contributions to the National Academy of Sciences, India Mohan Swarup Sinha* The National Academy of Sciences, India, Allahabad-211002, UP, India E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org A fter having obtained the degree of MSc (Physics) in 1970 from the University of Allahabad, I was fortunate to get myself enrolled for the degree of DPhil in Science in the Microwave Laboratory of the Physics Department of University of Allahabad under the able supervision of Prof. Suresh Chandra Srivastava, who himself had been a student of Prof. Krishnaji (from here on, I will use his name without the title). Thus, I consider myself a grand student of Krishnaji.
Krishnaji, with his singular devotion and dedication, had established the Microwave Laboratory in 1950 for research in the field of microwaves. Although in 1973, he had been appointed the first Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Allahabad, yet he would snatch time from his busy schedule to look after the progress of the research work of students of the microwave laboratory. I also had the good fortune of having his able guidance in the pursuit of my research work. He had such a clear insight about the functioning of intricate instruments that whenever we approached him with some problems in the experimental set-up, he, without visiting the instrument, would suggest the remedy. Such was his elegant and deep understanding of instruments and instrumentation.
Krishnaji’s depth of knowledge and versatility always left a lasting impression on others. Above all, his simplicity, absence of pomp-and-show and humane but elegant style will always be remembered. He always felt concerned with the welfare of personal and family life of those who came in contact with him. I remember several occasions in which he participated in the post-marriage celebrations of some of the members of Microwave Laboratory and blessed the newly married couples. He possessed the rare gift of making and seeing others happy. He was, by every measure, an extraordinary man.
After his formal retirement in 1982 from the University of Allahabad, Krishnaji devoted his full time and attention towards the affairs of the National Academy of Sciences, India. Since then the Academy has undergone tremendous changes towards its development.
In 1967, Krishnaji had been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (FNASc) at the young age of 45.
When I joined the National Academy of Sciences, India as the Assistant Executive Secretary in 1985, I had the opportunity of interacting frequently with him who was then the Treasurer of the Academy. His analytical approach to do things and transparency in dealing with others made him distinct from others. Throughout his life he never seemed to lose the ability to make the right decision.
During 1977-1980, Krishnaji served as its General Secretary (Head Quarters). Under his able leadership as the General Secretary, the Golden Jubilee Session of the Academy was held during October 23-27, 1980, at Allahabad in which the then Prime Minister of India, Shrimati Indira Gandhi was the Chief Guest. The Session was attended by several foreign academicians besides those from India. The Session was also addressed by the Patron of the Academy, Shri Chandeshwar Prasad Narayan Singh, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Prof. Syed Nurul Hasan, Vice-President, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi and Prof. Mambillikalthil Govind Kumar (M.G.K.) Menon, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi. Prof. Neel Ratan Dhar, the senior-most Past President, thanked the Prime Minister of India on behalf of the Academy at this session.
On this occasion Krishnaji had also organized a three-day Symposium on ‘Renewable Sources of Energy’. The Symposium was inaugurated by Prof. M.G.K. Menon and was attended by about 100 participants. A comprehensive key-note paper on ‘Energy Policies and the Contribution of Renewable Energies in India’ was presented by Mr. Maheshwar Dayal, Adviser, Science and Technology, Government of India. During the Golden Jubilee year, the Academy also started a Golden Jubilee Fund and made plans for widening the activities of the Academy and adding to its present building.
Krishnaji has made significant contributions to the affairs and development of the National Academy of Sciences, India, as its VicePresident (1981-1982), General Secretary (1977-1980), Treasurer (January 1984 – May 1987), Foreign Secretary (1983) besides serving in the Council as its Member for several years. During 1974, he delivered the address on ‘Shape of Microwave Spectral Lines and Molecular Interactions’ as the Sectional President of Physical Sciences Section of 45th Annual Session (November 8-10, 1974, Bhagalpur University, Bihar, India). He has also served on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India (Section A – Physical Sciences; 1967-1977; 1995He was the Guest Editor along with Prof. Suresh Chandra of the Special Issue on ‘Chaos, Disorder and Fractals’, published in 1996.
In December 1983, Krishnaji organized a National Symposium on “Science and Technology Policy of India” (a) to discuss all aspects of Science and Technology Policy of the Government of India, including their impact on different sectors of national development and activity, and (b) to focus the attention of the Nation and the Government on its achievements, failures and appropriate corrective measures. Its recommendations have been well received.
For some time, the Academy had been feeling the necessity of a monthly Journal for quick publication of brief reports of original research of immediate importance. It was when Krishnaji was the General Secretary of the Academy, “National Academy Science Letters” was first published in January 1978: the Academy had taken an important step forward to serve the cause of scientific research under Krishnaji’s leadership. The Late Prof. Neel Ratan Dhar, the then Director of the Sheila Dhar Institute of Soil Science, University of Allahabad, had released the first issue of the National Academy Science Letters. The publication of this monthly journal has been widely appreciated by the scientific community for speedy publication of brief reports of high quality research of immediate importance.
To commemorate the memory of this great visionary, an award lecture known as Prof. Krishnaji Memorial Lecture Award has been instituted by the Academy out of an endowment created by his student Prof. Abhai Mansingh, a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, former Professor of Physics and Astrophysics and Director of the South Campus of the University of Delhi, and a renowned physicist in the field of Electronics and Solid State Physics.
Currently, I am the Executive Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, India. We shall ever remain indebted to Professor Krishnaji for his visionary contributions to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, India.
* The editors are grieved to note that Dr. Mohan Swarup Sinha died on 30 December, 2009 due to a fatal heart attack while returning after a long morning walk.
Family Members of Krishnaji
1. Grandfather (father’s side: Baba): Ganga Prasad Asthana*
2. Granduncle (grandfather’s brother): Saraswati Prasad Asthana*
3. Father (Babuji): Vishveshwar Prasad*
4. Mother (Amma): Savitri Devi*
5. Younger brother : Gopalji
6. Sister: Malati Sahay
7. Youngest brother: Govindjee
8. Wife: Bimla (Asthana)*
9. Sister-in-law : Nirmala (wife of Gopalji)
10. Brother-in-law : Radha Krishna Sahay (husband of Malati Sahay)
11. Sister-in-law: Rajni (wife of Govindjee) Note: We are not aware of Krishnaji’s grandmother’s name; also, we don’t have information on his Nana and Nani (grandfather and grandmother on his mother’s side); his father had one brother: Har Prasad, and two cousins: Bireshwar Prasad and Sidheshwar Prasad sons of Saraswati Prasad Asthana. Information on the extended family is not included in this book.
Krishnaji* and Bimla*
1. Eldest daughter: Ira Chandra (Meenu); husband: Suresh Chandra;