Dr. Rajagopala Chidambaram, after his early education in Meerut and Chennai, completed his Ph.D in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, from where he also later got his D.Sc Degree. He joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1962 and became its Director in 1990. He was Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary to the Govt. of India in the Department of Atomic Energy from February 1993 to November, 2000. Since 2001, he is the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet.
Dr. Chidambaram is one of India’s distinguished experimental physicists and the research groups established by him in BARC in the fields of High Pressure Physics and Neutron Crystallography are regarded among the best in the world. He has made important contributions to many aspects of our nuclear technology. He has D.Sc Degrees (h.c) from twenty Universities from India and abroad. He has more than 200 research publications in refereed journals and all his research work has been in India.
Dr. Chidambaram is a Fellow of all the major Science Academies in India and also of the Third World Academy of Sciences, Trieste (Italy). Dr. Chidambaram was Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during 1994-95. He is a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of the international journal “Atom for Peace”. He was also a member of the Commission of Eminent Persons appointed by the Director-General, IAEA, in 2008 to prepare a report on “The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond”.
He is President, Shree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad. He is a Member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and Chairman of the High-Level Committee for the National Knowledge Network. He is also Honorary Visiting professor in the Department of Physics of Banaras Hindu University. He is also the Chairman High Level Committee (HLC) for NKN Project.
Dr. Chidambaram has won many Awards including the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1991, the Second Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary International Visiting Fellowship by the Indian National Science Academy in 1992, the C.V. Raman Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress Association in 1995, the Distinguished Materials Scientist of the Year Award of the Materials Research Society of India (MRSI) for 1996, the R.D. Birla Award of the Indian Physics Association (1996), the Lokmanya Tilak Award (1998), the H.K. Firodia Award for Excellence in Science & Technology(1998), Veer Savarkar Award (1999), Dadabhai Naoroji Millennium Award (1999), Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award (1999), the Padma Vibhushan (1999), the Hari Om Ashram Prerit Senior Scientist Award (2000), Meghnad Saha Medal of the Indian National Science Academy (2002), Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi (Kanchi Mutt) National Eminence Award(2003), Homi Bhabha Lifetime Achievement Award of the Indian Nuclear Society (2006) and General President Medal, Indian Science Congress (2007).