Chairman, the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad
Prof. U. R. Rao is an internationally renowned space scientist who has contributed to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources since starting his career in 1960. More than any other single individual, Professor Rao is responsible for the creation of India’s space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nation’s development. As head of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof. Rao undertook the responsibility for the establishment of satellite technology in India in 1972. Under his guidance, beginning with the first Indian satellite 'Aryabhata' in 1975, over 20 satellites were designed, fabricated and launched. Rao also accelerated the development of rocket technology in India, resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992 and the operational PSLV launch vehicle. He has tirelessly promoted the use of space technology for broadcasting, education, meteorology, remote sensing and disaster warning. Rao, who has published over 360 scientific and technical papers in various journals, has received many honors and awards, including the Padma Bhushan Award, a very high civilian award of the Government of India.