Faces of India – 278, Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist

Faces of India,

a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. I bring back souvenirs, frozen moments from my travels, why not some memories of people I have met and interacted during the travels. Faces of India is a weekly series in my blog since MARCH 2011. See more here


 Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist

Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist

When I saw him first in the reception section of an office, I felt I knew him. His face seemed so familiar but was I unable to place him properly in my memory. And the thought kept nagging me. With crinkled eyebrows I kept looking at him and tried to recollect who he was. Then suddenly in a flash I realized he is none other than Prof. U R Rao, Professor Udupi Ramachandra Rao, the internationally renowned space scientist.

Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist

He has made original contributions to the development of space technology in India.  Prof. U R Rao is the man behind India’s first satellite Aryabhatta. He was the chairman of Indian Space Research Organization in 1985. Under his leadership and tenure there was the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992. His pictures splashed in newspapers then and he made huge headlines too. I had seen just his photographs then and felt so proud of the space program of India. I was full of admiration for this great scientist then. Never thought I would see him face to face any day in life.

Once the realization dawned in me that he was the Prof. U R Rao I was thrilled, excited and nervous at the same time. Somehow I mustered up courage to speak to him. My first sentence was: I recognize you as Prof. U R Rao and you were the chairman of ISRO, right sir?
He smiled with a yes.
Feeling very happy to meet you sir I said, my father too served ISRO and I have seen your photographs in newspapers during the successful launch of ASLV.
He asked me which division my father worked.
After that I gathered some more courage asked his permission to photograph him and he replied with another yes!!!

And that is how I have this photo.

I as an Indian am grateful and proud of him for his contributions to Space program of India. Even at this age of 85 he continues to serve the ADCOS (Advisory Committee for Space Science.) Prof. U R Rao will receive the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ Award and a certificate, during the closing ceremony on 30th September 2016 from International Astronautical Federation.


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13 Responses

  1. Nice portrait. Great to read about Prof. U R Rao.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. magiceye says:

    Humility personified

  3. Yogi Saraswat says:

    Feeling very happy to meet you sir I said, my father too served ISRO and I have seen your photographs in newspapers during the successful launch of ASLV. A big Salute to Prof Rao for his service to the nation !!

  4. Oh wow!!! It’s an opportunity to meet such a great personality 🙂

  5. A great Indian so to say

  6. These are the real Hero’s of the Nation. Thanks for sharing. And in early 80’s I was too small and in early 90’s … you can understand. But really feel proud for such great personalities who are serving Nation at this age also.

  7. MP UPPAL says:

    Joyful moment for you!

  8. Anita says:

    That’s wonderful, Indrani 🙂
    Many times we just read the news items & don’t know the faces behind the names…

  9. vatsala mallya says:

    Such a great personality and so humble looks ! Salute to this Indian space scientist . Beautiful portrait .

  10. Mridula says:

    I can see through the post how happy you felt! 😀

  11. David Johnson says:

    A wonderful coincidence. Congrats!

  12. dNambiar says:

    Great chance encounter. Nice picture.
    Happy Independence day.

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