Prof. C N R Rao honored with ‘Vishwamanava Prashasti’
The audience in MRD Auditorium was electrified by the words of the scientist who answered the questions related to science by school children. Prof C N R Rao was honored with ‘Vishwamanava Prashasti’ by Karnataka Vishwamanava Samsthe at the PES University campus. The award ceremony was inaugurated by Dr M R Doreswamy who admired the contributions of Prof C N R Rao to the country and considered him to be synonymous with scientific research. He succinctly captured the achievements of the scientist in numbers, 1600 papers authored, 150 doctoral students guided, 49 works of science and 77 honorary doctorates conferred on him by prestigious institutions. He narrated the story of how Prof C N R Rao, as an eleven year old kid got a chance to listen to scientist C V Raman and was selected. Prof C N R Rao in his acceptance speech, in a lighter vein said that he caught the virus of scientific research at an early age and continues to nurture it and considered C V Raman and Michael Faraday as some of the many scientists who inspired him. The book by Linus Pauling, Nature of Chemical Bond, triggered his interest in science. He felt that schools can impart information, knowledge and wisdom but creativity is difficult to teach and that needs to be nurtured by students by following their passion. He opined that India has a lot of catching up to do in the field of scientific research to compete with other countries like China. He felt that three qualities that can make a difference are determination, dedication and perseverance. These three qualities made him a scientist and the same qualities made Kuvempu produce great work of literature. He asked the students to pursue their passion in any field, be it science, journalism or literature. The students among the audience asked questions related to science and he answered them with enthusiasm. Answering a question, he elaborated on how property of atoms of gold absorb light and emit heat is proving to be useful in treating cancers. He explained how his work on using water as fuel by separating hydrogen has great potential but comes with the challenge of storing hydrogen. In answer to another question, he talked about the increasing role of semiconductors in a car and the resulting increase in efficiency. He recalled his experience as a teacher of chemistry at IIT Kanpur. Shri K V R Tagore, IPS, Director General of Police (Retired) felt that one can see the ideals espoused by Kuvempu in the scientific contributions of Dr C N R Rao. The organization Karnataka Vishwamanava Samsthe, supports the message of Vishwamanava, universal being, that captures poet Kuvempu’s ideas about social harmony and reformation. The school children left the auditorium, truly inspired by the words of the scientist.