H.A.B. Parpia (91), renowned food scientist and former Director of the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), passed away at his residence here on Tuesday morning after a brief illness.
Dr. Parpia held various positions in different organisations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations at Rome and was Assistant Director in charge of Information, Statistics, Process Development and Food Plant Design at the CFTRI. He served as Assistant Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1959 and was in charge of Industrial Liaison Office and Extension, Delhi.
His services were requisitioned by the government of India to work as Chief Defence Research Coordinator of the CSIR during the India-China war of 1962. He was appointed Director of the CFTRI, Mysore, in 1963. He also held the position of Director of the International School of Milling Technology at the CFTRI.
Dr. Parpia had published nearly 250 papers and documents on food science and technology and advanced education. He was Principal Adviser, U.N. Conference on Science and Technology for Development, New York, from 1978-82.
He was appointed Director of Planning and Evaluation at the United Nations University headquarters in Tokyo in 1981, was a visiting lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1978, and was also Chairman of Protein-Calorie Advisory Group of the UN System.
Recipient of many awards
He had many awards to his credit, including Kashalkar Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to Indian Food Industry.
Born on September 5, 1922, Dr. Parpia had his primary and secondary education at Burhanpur and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. A strong believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, he had spent a year at Sevagram Ashram, Wardha, as a volunteer. After obtaining a degree in Microbiology (Industrial and Medical) and Chemistry from the University of Bombay, Dr. Parpia studied Food Technology at the University of California, moved to Oregon State University for advanced study and completed his Ph.D.
Ram Rajasekharan, Director of CSIR-CFTRI, and staff members have mourned Dr. Parpia, who was the institute’s Director from 1963 to 1972.
Dr. Parpia is survived by his wife, Carolyn Wilkes, two daughters and two sons. A large number of his well-wishers, friends and scientists from the CFTRI visited his residence to pay their last respects.
His body was donated to the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, according to family sources.