BANGALORE: Four of the six Padma awards for Karnataka have gone to the field of science and technology, while one has gone to medicine and another to sports. Padma Bhushan Prof Padmanabhan Balaram (Science and Engineering) Director of IISc Bangalore He’s a well-known biochemist who received his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. He did his postdoctoral stint at Harvard University, with Nobel laureate Robert Burns Woodward and has stayed with IISc. During his PhD, Dr P Balaram studied the use of ‘negative nuclear overhauser effect’ signals as probes of macromolecular conformations. As a postdoctoral scholar with Woodword, Balaram worked on the synthesis of the antibiotic erythromycin. “I am happy and flattered. The government has recognized my work in the field of science,” he said.
Dr Madappa Mahadevappa (Science and Engineering)
Member of the Governing Council, ICAR, New Delhi, Dr Mahadevappa is a renowned rice-breeder. He is former vice-chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad. He’s developed and released more than nine improved rice varieties for cultivation in Karnataka, and has received a number of awards.
Dr Koppillil Radhakrishnan (Science and Engineering)
Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), he is also a member of the Space Commission and director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Dr Radhakrishnan has played a major role in India’s successful launch of the GSLV-D5 flight earlier this month and the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, Mangalyaan, on November 5, 2013. He is an accomplished technocrat with a distinguished career of more than 38 years in the fields of space technology, applications and space programme management.
Prof Eluvathingal Devassy Jemmis (Science and Engineering)
Dr Jemmis is a professor with the department of inorganic and physical chemistry at IISc and his research interests are in ‘Applied Theoretical Chemistry, Structure and Reactivity of Molecules and Clusters’. Born in Chevoor of Kerala, he was educated in a village school joined the then fledgling School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad, in 1980 and became a professor in 1990. After 25 years in Hyderabad, Dr Jemmis joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He also started the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research at Thiruvananthapuram in 2008. Dr Jemmis said the award has come as a complete surprise. “I’m working on topics close to the subject of multiscale models for complex chemical systems, for which recent Nobel awards in chemistry were given. I’m glad the government has recognized this,” he added.