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Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, January 24, 2013
Eminent government scientist CNR Rao, head of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, has been awarded a top Chinese science award for his contribution to scientific cooperation between the two countries.


The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the top government-affiliated research institution in natural sciences, gave the 2012 award to Rao besides two other scientists from Russia and Germany.

Rao, 79, founder of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, shared the 2012 award with Herbert Jaeckle of Germany's Max Planck Society and Russian space physicist GA Zherebtsov.

"Rao is devoted to the research of solid-state and structural chemistry. He was awarded for his important contributions in boosting scientific cooperation between China and India, as well as raising the scientific capabilities of developing countries," the CAS said in a statement that was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

While Jaeckle is a world-famous scientist in the fields of molecular developmental biology, Zherebtsov has actively promoted the construction of a Sino-Russian weather research center and is currently working to get Russia involved in a CAS space science programme.

According to CAS, the move brings the total number of winners of the award, which was launched by the institute to honor foreign scientists for their contributions in Sino-foreign research cooperation, to 17.

Founded by Rao, the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) is a multidisciplinary research institute situated in Jakkur, a locality north of Bangalore, India. It is relatively young yet well-known around the globe.

The Centre is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and is a deemed university.

In his distinguished career, Rao has been associated with the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy besides being a fellow at The Royal Society in London and a foreign associated with USA's National Academy of Sciences.

In the last couple of years, Rao has faced allegations of plagiarism which he attributed to mistakes committed by a student working on the same scientific paper along with him and another senior scientist.