U.R. Rao: The scientist who loved interacting with children

U. R. Rao   | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Former Chairman of ISRO, U.R. Rao, who passed away on Monday morning, was born in Admaru village in Udupi district and had his early education at the Christian High School in Udupi. Later the family moved on to Ballari, where Prof. Rao did his inter-junior course. He later continued his education at Ananthapur and other places.

After retiring from ISRO, Prof. Rao visited and held meeting with the officers of district administration as Chairman, Karnataka State Science and Technology in Udupi.

A noted scientist, Prof. Rao liked to interact with students. He participated in the student-scientist interaction at the Poornaprajna College in January 2015, at which select students from degree and PU colleges and general public were present. “I love interacting with the students,” he had said back then.

At the interaction programme, when asked by a student which was the happiest moment in his life as astrophysicist, Prof. Rao said that creating the satellite Aryabhatta in the sheds of Peenya in Bengaluru for two-and-a-half years and later its successful launch in USSR was one of his happiest moments.

“We were all excited about it. If you are not excited about anything, you will not achieve anything great,” Prof. Rao had said. He was also felicitated on the occasion by Vishwapriya Tirtha Swami of Admar Mutt.

A.P. Bhat, Head of the Department of Poornaprajna College, Udupi, who interacted with Prof. Rao several times, said, “Prof. Rao was a simple, soft-spoken person without any ego.” He recalled that students had made a small rocket during the meet. While the rocket took off, the parachute which was to open did not. “The students were sad. But he talked to the students for a long time and told them not to get disheartened and encouraged them to carry on with their dreams,” he said.


“He also encouraged Physics teachers to teach Physics to students in an interesting way and held several workshops for Physics teachers as Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, for them,” he recalled.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 10:19:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ur-rao-the-scientist-who-loved-interacting-with-children/article19341173.ece

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