Describing CNR Rao as a person who overcame constraints to excel in research and training, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the acclaimed scientist's feats are an inspiration for the younger generation.
He said Rao, who has recently been conferred with Bharat Ratna, epitomises the triumph of will over constraints, of genius over circumstances.
"For over five decades, he has pursued and achieved excellence in both research and teaching. And what makes them so inspiring to younger generations in our country is that he made them possible in an India that was synonymous with constraints of resources, constraints of infrastructure, constraints of opportunity and remuneration," the Prime Minister said.
He was addressing a programme here to felicitate Rao.
Singh noted that Rao has demonstrated that world-class research can be accomplished on Indian soil, despite constraints.
He credited the scientist with his relentless efforts to guide the growth of science academies and all major science institutes in India.
"As Chair of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Prof Rao has played a pivotal role in guiding the science and technology policies of the government of India.
"I, for one, have benefited immensely from his wise counsel. I thank him for sharing my vision to orient science towards development and prosperity of India founded on the basis of inclusion and equity," the prime minister said.
He rejuvenated the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and even now, he continues to devote himself to creating state-of-the-art facilities and nurturing a vibrant group of scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, Singh noted.
The government has conferred many awards and recognitions on Rao in the past, including Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.
"Now, by conferring the Bharat Ratna on him, we are recognising his larger and towering presence in our overall national life, and also the role and impact of science on India's march to progress. The recognition is, in this sense, also recognition of the nation to the unsung heroism of Indian science," Singh said.