Prof. Baldev Raj was born on 9th April 1947. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering from the Government Engineering College, Raipur under the Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University (currently National Institute of Technology, Raipur). After completing his BE, Prof. Raj moved to Bengaluru to join Indian Institute of Science to complete his PhD and then moved to Chennai to obtain a Doctor of Science degree from Sathyabama Deemed University. His long academic journey saw him specializing in various areas, including Non-destructive Science & Technology, Materials Performance, Technology Management and Nano Science & Technology.
A man of vast experience and varied interests Prof. Raj pursued basic sciences and their applications with a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems. His interests covered a vast array of subjects ranging from material science and nuclear science to medical technologies and cultural heritage. During his long and illustrious career Prof. Raj held various cardinal posts, including serving as the director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). His eminence within the academic faction earned him a fellowship in all four academies of science and engineering in the country. Currently, he was serving as the Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, a post he took over in 2014.
His contributions in science and academia also earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including the Padma Shri in 2007 and a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Indian Nuclear Society. Apart from these, Prof. Raj was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Shibpur for his ‘outstanding contributions in the field of Science and Technology’. As recent as February 2017, Prof. Raj was also appointed as the Chancellor and Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (ACSIR), CSIR, New Delhi, appointed by Prime Minister of India.
An exceptional researcher and educator, Prof. Raj had over 1000 publications to his name, and over 100 awards and recognitions, both within the country and outside. Moreover, Prof. Raj was a wonderful educator and an inspiration to hundreds of students who studied under his guidance.
On January 6, 2018, at the age of 70, Prof. Baldev Raj passed away following a sudden cardiac arrest, while attending a conference in Pune. With his demise the nation lost a beloved and enlightened intellectual and educator.