Electronics and Telecommunication - 1985

Prof. M.G.K. Menon, FRS
1985 to 2011


Prof. M.G.K. Menon is one of the most distinguished scientists of India, whose achievements in pure and applied science are inter­nationally recognised, in the field of electronics, he is the principal figure one associates with the development of electronics in India over the past two decades.

Prof. Menon's major scientific contributions have been to: (i) The development of nuclear emulsion techniques; (ii) Elucidation of the properties of the strange particles, (iii) Cosmic ray studies near the geomagnetic equator at high altitudes, (iv) Deep underground studies in India relating to moons, neutrinos and weak interactions. Since 1960, Prof. Menon has been connected with experiments in the Kolar Gold Mines in South India . The most recent experiment relates to a very large volume detector with which it is possible to search for the stability of the nucleon up to life times around 1031 years, this was the first large experiment in this area mounted any where in the world. The question relating to the stability of the nucleon is one of the most fundamental questions in science, and of considerable current interest such large passive experiments are of relevance for studies in other important areas such as neutrino astronomy.

Prof. Menon has been with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in various positions since 1955, including that of Director for a period of 10 years (from 1966. Since 1971, he has worked in the Government of India in a variety of capacities, often holding several concurrent positions. He first set up the Electronics Commission, of which he was the Chairman during 1971-1978. During this period he laid the foundations for a rapid and self-reliant growth of this sector, major support was provided for research and development in electronics significant diversification was brought about in the range of electronic products and their applications, there was extensive growth of the small scale sector and the development of electronics in the States through State Electronics Corporations was initiated. During 1972 he was also Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation; during this period various separate activities at Thumba were consolidated to make the present Vikrarn Sarabhai Space Centre, and an agreement with the USSR Academy of Sciences was concluded for launch of the Indian satellite Aryabhata on a Soviet rocket.

From 1974-78 he was Scientific Adviser to the Minister for Defence and Director General of the Defence Research & Development Organisation, during this period many major large projects were taken up in the fields of defence electronics, missiles, vehicles, guns and so on.

From 1978-82 he was Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, and concurrently, from 1978-81, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

Since May 1982, he has been Member of the Planning Commission, and Chairman of the Science Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SACC).

Prof. Menon has received national and international recognition in a variety of ways. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (its President 1981-82), of the Indian Academy of Sciences (its President 1974-76), and of the Royal Society. He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Hon. Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and USSR Academy of Sciences. He received the Padma Shri (1961). Padma Bhushan (1968) and Padma Vibhushan (1985) in the Republic Day national honours. With particular reference to the field of electronics. He is a Hon. President of the Asia Electronics Union, and one of the 12 Honorary Members in the world of the Institution of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the largest professional engineering society.

The Om Prakash Bhasin Award for Science & Technology in the field of Electronics & Telecommunications, for 1985, is given to Prof. M.G.K. Menon for the outstanding leadership he has provided to the field of electronics in India.

(Prof. Menon however, declined lo accept the Award, as he is a member of the Trust).