Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is presently Member of Planning Commission. Dr. Kasturirangan has steered the Indian Space programme gloriously for over 9 years as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, of Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space, before laying down his office on August 27, 2003.
He was earlier the Director of ISRO Satellite Centre, where he oversaw the activities related to the development of new generation spacecraft, Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS-1A & 1B) as well as scientific satellites.
He was also the Project Director for India's first two experimental earth observation satellites, BHASKARA-I & II and subsequently was responsible for overall direction of the first operational Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1A.
Dr. Kasturirangan took his Bachelor of Science with Honours and Master of Science degrees in Physics from Bombay University and received his Doctorate Degree in Experimental High Energy Astronomy in 1971 working at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.
Under his leadership, as Chairman, ISRO, the space programme has witnessed several major milestones including the successful launching and operationalisation of the India's prestigious launch vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and more recently, the first successful flight testing of the all important Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
Further, he has also overseen the design, development and launching of the world's best civilian satellites, IRS-1C and 1D, realization of the second generation and initiation of third generation INSAT satellites, besides launching ocean observation satellites IRS-P3/P4. These efforts have put India as a pre-eminent space-faring nation among the handful of six countries that have major space programmes.
As an Astrophysicist, Dr. Kasturirangan's interest includes research in high energy X-ray and gamma ray astronomy as well as optical astronomy. He has made extensive and significant contributions to studies of Cosmic x-ray sources, celestial gamma-ray and effect of cosmic x-rays in the lower atmosphere.
Dr. Kasturirangan is a member of several important scientific academies, both within India and abroad. He is presently the President of the Indian Academy of Sciences at Bangalore and General President of the Indian Science Congress.
He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences of India, Indian National Academy of Engineering, Astronautical Society of India, National Telematics Forum, The Indian Meteorological Society and The Third World Academy of Sciences.
He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers, Founder Member of the Astronomical Society of India, Life Member of the Indian Physics Association, Indian Science Congress Association and Indian Society of Remote Sensing and Honorary Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India and Kerala Academy of Sciences.
He is also a Member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Academy of Astronautics and is a member of its Board of Trustees. He has chaired some of the prestigious international committees, such as, the International Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), Panel for Space Research in Developing countries of COSPAR/ICSU, and the committee meeting at senior official level of UN-ESCAP, that led to the adoption of the "Delhi Declaration" by the Ministers of the region (1999-2000).
He is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the UN Centre for Space Science & Technology Education (UN-CSSTE), of the Board of Governors of IIT Chennai, of the Governing Council of the Raman Research Institute and Research Council of the National Aerospace Laboratory.
He has won several awards including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering, Shri Hari Om Ashram Dr.Vikram Sarabhai Prerit Award in Aerospace, M.P.Birla Memorial Award in Astronomy, Shri M.M.Chugani Memorial Award in Applied Science, H.K.Firodia Award in Science Technology, Rathindra Puraskar by Visvabharati, Santiniketan, Dr.M.N.Saha Birth Centenary Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of Space.
He has been conferred Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. He has published more than 200 papers, both in international and national journals in the areas of astronomy, space science, space applications and has edited 6 books.
- B.Sc. with Honours (Physics), 1961, Bombay University
- M.Sc. (Physics), 1963, Bombay University with specialization in Electronics
- Ph.D. (Astronomy & Astrophysics), 1971, Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)
- Padma Vibhushan (2000)
- Padma Bhushan (1992)
- Padma Shri (1982)
- Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc)
- Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (FNA)
- Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of India (FNASc)
- Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (FNAE)
- Fellow of the Astronautical Society of India (ASI)
- Fellow of the National Telematics Forum (NTF)
- Fellow of Indian Meteorological Society (IMS)
- Founder Member of the Astronomical Society of India (ASI)
- Distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommuncation Engineers (IETE)
- Honorary Fellow, Aeronautical Society of India (ASI)
- Honorary Fellow, Kerala Academy of Sciences (KAS)
- Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IICE)
- Life Member, Indian Physics Association (IPA)
- Life Member, Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS)
- Life Member, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
Fellowships/Memberships (International) :
- Member, India-China Eminent Persons' Group, Constituted by the Indian Parliament
- President, India-Cyprus Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Trustee, Nehru Trust for Cambridge University (2007)
- Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City (2006)
- Honorary Fellow, Cardiff University, UK (since 2006)
- Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (since 1996)
- Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (since 1985)
- Member of the International Astronomical Union (since 1982)
- April, 2004 onwards Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
- August 27, 2003 onwards Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
- April 1994 to August 27, 2003 Chairman, Space Commission/Secretary, Department of Space, Government of India, Bangalore
- 1990 to March 94 Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1986-89: Associate Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1984-86: Deputy Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1980-89: Project Director-IRS-1A, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1979-83: Project Director-Bhaskara-II, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1976-80: Project Director-Bhaskara-I, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1975-76: Project Engineer (Spacecraft)-Bhaskara-I, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1974-78: Head, Physics Group/Secretary, Aryabhata Project Management Board, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1971-73: Physicist, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore
- 1967-71: Research Associate, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
- 1963-67: Research Scholar, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
- 2001 onwards - Honorary Patron of the South Indian Education Society, Mumbai
- 1997 onwards - Honorary Professor- Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
- 1996 onwards - Honorary Professor for Space Science and Applications
- 1996 onwards - Honorary Professor for Space Science and Applications, College of Naval Warfare,Mumbai
- 1996 onwards - Honorary Professor, S.V.University, Tirupati
- 1995 onwards - Senior Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies,Bangalore
- 1995 onwards for 5 years - Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore
- Sept. 2008 onwards-Chairman, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Bangalore
- Sept. 2008 onwards-Member, Karnataka Vision 2020
- Sept 2008 onwards-Member, Advisory Committee, Indian Science News Association, Kolkata
- 2007 onwards-Independent Director, Brigade Group, Bangalore
- 2007-2011-Member, General Body, Birla Institute of Tech. & Sci. Pilani, Rajasthan
- 2007 onwards-Member, Governing Board, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore
- 2005-2006-President, Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE)
- 2004 onwards-Chairman, Council of Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
- Jan-Feb 2004 and Aug 2004 onwards-Member, Committee on Energy, Indian Parliament
- 2004 onwards-Chairman, Governing Council of Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital
- 2004 onwards-Member, Economic Policy and Reforms Council, constituted by Government of Rajasthan
- 2003 Nov onwards-Member, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), GOI
- 2002-2003-General President, Indian Science Congress
- 2001-2003-President, Indian Academy of Sciences
- 2001-2003Member, Board of Governors of IIT, Roorkee
- 2000-2010Chairman, Council of Raman Research Institute (RRI)
- 2000-2005Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Madras
- 2000Ex-officio Member, Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet
- 2000Chairperson, Research Council of National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore
- 1998-2000Vice President, Indian Academy of Sciences
- 1995-2003-Chairman, Governing Body of the United Nations Centre for Space Science & Technology Education in Asia-Pacific, India
Important Roles in International Bodies:
- Member, International Academy of Astronautics Sub-Committee on Mars Exploration (1992-1993).
- Indian Representative, IEEE Space Panel ( 1992).
- Chairman, COSPAR Panel on Space Research in Developing Countries (1994-2000).
- Member, COSPAR Bureau (1994 onwards).
- Chairman, International Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) (1997-1998).
- Chairman, Governing Body of United Nations Centre for Space Science&Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (since 1995).
- Chairman, Senior Officials Committee of UN-ESCAP (1999-2000) meet leading to 'Delhi Declaration'
- Member, Board of Trustees of the International Academy of Astronautics, Paris
- Member, Advisory Board of International Space University (ISU), Strassbourg, France
- Publications - more than 200 papers, both in National and International journals.Edited six books.Chairman/Member of a number of National Committees, Research Institutions and other bodies
- Shri.Hari Om Ashram Dr.Vikram Sarabhai Prerit Award (1981)
- Award of Intercosmos Council of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1981)
- Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering Sciences (1983
- Shri.Om Prakash Bhasin Foundation Award (1988).
- Award of the Institution of Engineers (India), Karnataka (1992)
- Dr.Y.Nayudamma Memorial Award (1995).
- Dr.K.R.Ramanathan Memorial Gold Medal for 1995 conferred by Indian Geo-Physical Union (1995)
- FIE Foundation's 1995 National Award (1996)
- G.P.Chatterjee Memorial Award (1997) of ISCA
- M.P.Birla Memorial Award in Astronomy (1997).
- Goyal Award conferred by Goyal Foundation (1997).
- Biren Roy Memorial Lecture Medal of the Indian Physical Society, Calcutta (1998).
- Outstanding Achievement in Indigenization Award of the Lakshmikanthammal Education Trust, Chennai (1999).
- Vidya Ratna National Award of Subbaram Trust, Bangalore (1999)
- Shri Murli M.Chugani Memorial Award for Excellence in Applied Physics of Indian Physics Association (1999)
- H.K.Firodia Award for Excellence in Science & Technology by H.K.Firodia Memorial Foundation (1999)
- IGU Millenium Award by Indian Geophysical Union (1999)
- M.N.Saha Birth Centenary Award for 1999-2000 conferred by 87th Indian Science Congress (2000)
- Aryabhata Medal Award 2000’ conferred by Indian National Science Academy, Calcutta (2001)
- 4th Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award‘ by South Indian Education Society, Mumbai on 28/12/2001(2001)
- International Collaboration Accomplishment Award 2001'conferred by International Society for Air Breathing Engines(ISOABE),Bangalore
- Rathindhra Puraskar' for the year 1999 by Visvabharati, Santiniketan (2002)
- Award of "Officer of the Legion d'honneur", the highest decoration given by the Government of France (2002)
- "V.Krishnamurthy Award for Excellence"conferred by Centre for Organisation Development, Hyderabad (2002)
- "G.M.Modi Award" for outstanding contribution in innovative Science, conferred by Gujarmal Modi Science foundation, New Delhi (2002)
- 'Bhoovigyan Ratna Award' from Bhoovigyan Vikas Foundation, New Delhi (2002)
- 8th National Science & Technology Award for Excellence by the Jeppiaar Educational Trust, Chennai (2003)
- '6th Ram Mohan Puraskar 2003' awarded by Ram Mohan Mission, Calcutta (2003)
- 'Asutosh Mookerjee Memorial Award' by the Indian Science Congress, Chandigarh (2004)
- 'Man of the Year' award by the Centenarian Trust, Chennai (2004)
- 'Prof. M.N.Saha Memorial Lecture Medal' of the National Academy of Sciences of India, Jaipur (2004)
- 'Life Time Contribution Award in Engineering' for 2004 by Indian National Academy of Engineering, Delhi (2004)
- 'ISPRS Brock Medal' instituted jointly by ISPRS and ASPRS, Istanbul, Turkey (2004)
- Allan D Emil Memorial Award of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Vancouver, Canada (2004)
- 'Balvantbhai Parekh Gold Medal 2005' for life-time Achievements in Space Science by The Indian Planetary Society, Mumbai (2005)
- 'Aryabhata Award 2003' by Astronautical Society of India (2005)
- 'Lifetime Achievement Award' of the Asia-Pacific Satellite communications Council, Singapore (2005)
- 'Lakshmipat Singhania - IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award 2006' by Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (2006)
- The Jewel of Ruia Award by Ruia College Alumni Association, Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali's Ramnarain Ruia College, Dec. 2007
- Theodore Von Karman Award by International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), France (2007)
- Maharana Udai Singh Award by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation in Udaipur, March 2, 2008
- Rajayogindra Award, Maharaja of Mysore, Mysore, 18 July 2008
- Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Gold Medal, 96th Indian Science Congress,The Indian Science Congress Association,3January 2009Shillong
- Shasthra Bhooshan Award by His Highness Pazhassi Raja Charitable Trust, Kerala, 27 February 2009
- Prof Y. T. Thathachari Lifetime Achievement Award by Bhramara Trust of Prof. Y T Thathachari and Smt. Madhuri Thathachari of Mysore on March 14, 2009