Colorado State University Awards C.N.R. Rao, Chief of Indian Science and Technology, with Honorary Degree

Note to Reporters: Media are invited to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Administration Building. Due to space limitations, reservations are required by contacting Emily Wilmsen. A photo of C.N.R. Rao is available with the news release at

Colorado State University will honor Professor C.N.R. Rao, chief advisor to the Prime Minister of India for science and technology, with an honorary doctoral degree at graduation ceremonies Friday, Dec. 18.

Rao, who is honorary president and National Research Professor of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, also plans to sign an International Memorandum of Understanding with Colorado State University on Friday. The agreement encourages research collaboration and student exchanges between the Centre and Colorado State.

Rao will receive the honorary degree at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 at Moby Arena.

“Professor Rao is a powerful advocate of collaborative research that advances our ability as scientists to deliver global solutions to people who need them,” said President Tony Frank. “We award honorary degrees only to those extraordinary people who have achieved national and international distinction for their contributions to the advancement of knowledge and our society, and we are honored to be able to recognize a scientist of Dr. Rao’s importance in this way. We are also pleased to join him in signing an MOU that will lay the groundwork for fruitful partnerships between the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre and our faculty here at CSU.”

Rao is also former director and Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science. His main research interests are in solid state and materials chemistry. He has authored more than 1,400 research papers and 41 books and has received honoris-causa doctorate degrees from 46 universities. Rao is a member of all the major science academies in the world and serves on the editorial boards of several leading professional journals.

Rao is chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, immediate past-President of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and member of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, and chairman of the Indo-Japan Science Council. He is Founder-President of both the Chemical Research Society of India and of the Materials Research Society of India.

"India is an important partner for Colorado State as we globalize the campus," said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs. "We have had working partnerships in place and faculty connections to the Nehru Centre for many years – this agreement cements that relationship.”

V. "Mani" Manivannan, a CSU mechanical engineering professor, has worked closely with Rao, and he and Professor Allan Kirkpatrick, mechanical engineering department chair, and V. Chandrasekhar, professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering have helped bring faculty members in both countries together, particularly in such fields as engineering mechanics, biology and genetics and solid state materials chemistry and physics.

As part of its strategic plan, Colorado State encourages the internationalization of its research and education efforts. Several of CSU’s senior administrators and faculty have visited various institutions of higher learning around the world, including China, India, South America, Europe, New Zealand and Russia. The emphasis of these visits has been to foster research relationships with select institutions, matching potential research collaborations.

In India, the primary institution for engineering and science research and education is the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

Several of CSU’s faculty and administrators visited JNC in the past several years. Frank led a delegation of CSU faculty to India in November 2006 in part to sign a formal agreement with the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore. That agreement calls for interaction between ISRO’s Radar Development Unit and Colorado State relating to dual polarized Doppler Weather Radar and to the Virtual CHILL concept for Doppler Weather Radar Systems.

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies Peter Dorhout made a follow-up trip to the Nehru Centre in 2007, and seven faculty members from the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences visited JNC in January 2008.