Emeritus Professor; September 2009-Current
Director, NIAS; 31 March 2004-August 2009
Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan took his Bachelor of Science with Honours and Master of Science degrees in Physics from Bombay University and received his Doctorate Degree in Experimental High Energy Astronomy in 1971 working at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He was the Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) at Bangalore (2004-2009), and is Honorary Professor of Physics, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad and at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research at Bangalore. He was also a Member of Upper House of Indian Parliament (2003-2009). For over 9 years until 2003, Dr. Kasturirangan steered the Indian Space programme as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. Under his leadership, the programme witnessed several major milestones including the successful launching and operationalisation of the India's prestigious launch vehicles, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, the development and launching of some of the world's best civilian remote sensing satellites, IRS-1C and 1D, new generation INSAT communication satellites, besides ocean observation satellites IRS-P3/P4. As an Astrophysicist, Dr. Kasturirangan's interest include research in high energy X-ray and gamma ray astronomy as well as optical astronomy. He has made extensive and significant contributions to studies of Cosmic x-ray and gamma ray sources and effect of cosmic x-rays in the lower atmosphere.
Dr. Kasturirangan is a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and served as its Vice President. He is a Member of the International Astronomical Union and a Fellow of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences and served as its President during 2001-03. He is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering and was its President during 2005-06. He was also General President of the Indian Science Congress for the years 2002-2003. Besides, he is the Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy and the National Academy of Sciences of India. He is the Honorary Fellow of the Cardiff University, UK; and an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City.
He has won several awards including Brock Medal of International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, (2004), Allan D Emil Memorial Award of the International Astronautical Federation (2004), Theodore Von Karman Award by International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), France (2007), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering, Aryabhata Award 2003 of Astronautical Society of India, Lifetime Achievement Award of Asia-Pacific Satellite communications Council, Singapore, Aryabhata Medal by Indian National Science Academy (2000), Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Award by the Indian Science Congress, Award of Jewel of Ruia, Ruia College Alumni Association, 2007; Maharana Udai Singh Award 2007-08 by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur, 2008; Rajayogindra Award, Maharaja of Mysore, Mysore, 2008; Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Gold Medal, Indian Science Congress, Shillong, 2009. He has been conferred with the highest civilian honours Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the President of India and Award of ‘Officer of the Legion d’honneur’ by the President of the French Republic, France.
Dr. Kasturirangan formalized the Doctoral Programme at NIAS soon after he took over as Director in 2004, initiated many research programmes as well as developed the much needed infrastructure for interdisciplinary research and teaching activities of the Institute.
Kasturirangan, K . 2007. “Space technology for humanity: A profile for the coming 50 years”. Space Policy 23: 159–166. http://eprints.nias.res.in/117/.