Mysuru: Renowned Science Writer Prof. J.R. Lakshmana Rao (96) passed away early this morning at a private hospital in city. He was ailing for some time.
A resident of 12th Main, Saraswathipuram, he leaves behind his wife Jeevu Bai, son J.L. Anil Kumar, and three daughters, Brinda Nagaraj, Vidya Shankar and Anuradha Rao and a host of relatives and friends. The last rites were held this afternoon at the foot of Chamundi Hill.
PROFILE: Prof. Lakshmana Rao was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted by Karnataka Science and Technology Academy (KSTA) last month (Nov. 14) and the Rajyotsava Award last year (2016).
Prof. J.R. Lakshmana Rao (Jagaluru Raghavendra Rao Lakshmana Rao) who was born in Jagaluru, on Jan. 21, 1921, while confined to bed in his last days, had only one word on his lips, Vijnana.
JRL had his initial education in Jagalur, Chitradurga and Davanagere. He did his Intermediate course in Yuvaraja‘s College in Mysuru and B.Sc Honours and M.Sc in Chemistry from The Central College, Bengaluru.
He started his teaching career in Organic Chemistry, in Tumakuru. Later, he taught in The Central College, Sahyadri College in Shivamogga, Maharani‘s College and Yuvaraja‘s College in Mysuru. He was a popular teacher and a public speaker on the subject of science, popularisation of science and environmental issues.
His horizons were widened, in particular in popular science, by Kuvempu, the poet laureate of Kannada, who taught him Kannada when he studied in Mysore.
Among the many books that JRL has written, some have received the Karnataka Rajya Sahitya Academy award. He has received the NCERT award and the Sahitya academy award for his work Galileo. The play Galileo has received Nataka Academy award and Sahitya Academy award. Vijnana Vicaara, Archimedes, Meghnad Saha, and the collection of essays, Chakra, have received awards too. He is also the recipient of the Indian Government’s National Council for Science Communication’s National Award for Communication of Science in 1992. Mudabidare’s Shivarama Karantha Pratishthana has honoured him with its Shivarama Karantha Award in 1977.
The English – Kannada Vijnana Pada Kosha (Dictionary of Scientific Terms) that he published along with the famous science writer Adyanadka Krishna Bhatta has already seen many editions.
He had also encouraged his wife, Jeevu Bai, 90, to write. She has a BA from the Mysore University. She has been a very supportive of all his activities and has really enabled him to achieve whatever he has. She has translated a biography of Charles Darwin and the autobiography of Leopald Infeld – ”Quest” – Shodha in Kannada.