Prof. C.N.R. Rao (born on 30 June 1934, Bangalore, India) is the National Research Professor as well as Honorary President and Linus Pauling Research Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. He is also an Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science. His main research interests are in solid state and materials chemistry. He is an author of over 1650 research papers and 50 books. He received the M.Sc. degree from Banaras, Ph.D. from Purdue, D.Sc. from Mysore universities and has received honoris causa doctorate degrees from 69 universities including Purdue, Bordeaux, Banaras, Calcutta, Sri Venkateswara, Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IISERs (Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune), Northwestern, Notre Dame, Novosibirsk, Oxford, Stellenbosch, Grenoble, Uppsala, Wales, Wroclaw, Caen, Liverpool, St. Andrews, Taiwan and Desikottama from Visva-Bharati.
Prof. Rao is a member of many of the major science academies in the world including the Royal Society, London, the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., the Russian Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences, Japan Academy as well as the American Philosophical Society. He is a Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Foreign Fellow of Academia Europaea, the Royal Society of Canada and of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is on the editorial boards of several leading professional journals and is a distinguished visiting professor of the University of California and Cambridge University.
Among the various medals, honours and awards received by him, mention may be made of the Marlow Medal of the Faraday Society (1967), Bhatnagar Prize (1968), Padma Shri (1974), Royal Society of Chemistry (London) Medal (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1985), Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London (1989), Blackett Lectureship of the Royal Society (1991), Einstein Gold Medal of UNESCO (1996), Linnett Professorship of the University of Cambridge (1998), Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London (2000), the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, London, for original discovery in physical sciences (2000), Karnataka Ratna (2001), the Order of Scientific Merit (Grand-Cross) from the President of Brazil (2002) and the Somiya Award of the International Union of Materials Research (2004). He is the first recipient of the India Science Award by the Government of India and received the Dan David Prize for science in the future dimension for his research in Materials Science in 2005. He was named Chemical Pioneer by the American Institute of Chemists (2005), Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the President of the French Republic (2005) and received the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Physics, London (2006) and St. Catherine’s College, Oxford (2007). He received the Nikkei Asia Prize for Science, Technology and Innovation in 2008 and was awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society (2009) and the August-Wilhelm-von-Hoffmann Medal for his outstanding contributions to chemistry by the German Chemical Society (2010). He received the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize for materials research in 2011 and was Albert Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012. He was conferred the title Bharat Ratna in 2014. The Emperor of Japan bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Start in 2015.
Prof. Rao was Chairman, Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister during 2004-2014 and past President of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He is the Founder-President of both the Chemical Research Society of India and of the Materials Research Society of India. Prof. Rao was the President of the Indian National Science Academy (1985-86), the Indian Academy of Sciences (1989-91) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (1985-97). He was the Director of the Indian Institute of Science (1984-94), Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1985-89) and Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee to the Union Cabinet (1997-98) and Albert Einstein Research Professor (1995-99).