Rango Krishna Asundi obtained his PhD degree (1929) from the University of London, UK. His specialization was in physics particularly, in spectroscopy. He was Reader and Chairman, Physics Department, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); Professor of Physics (1939-49), Professor of Spectroscopy (1949-50) and Head (1953-56), Department of Spectroscopy, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi; and Physicist, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Bombay (1957-82).
Academic and Research Achievements: Asundi was one of the pioneers in India in molecular spectroscopy. The very first piece of work that he took up was on the molecular spectrum of carbon monoxide. In his attempts to systematize the spectrum, he discovered an electronic band system, which has since been named after him. The first detailed analysis of the high-pressure carbon bands followed immediately, identifying the emitter of the bands to be C2 having the same final level as the Swan system. Another important contribution of Asundi was the discovery of the diffuse emission bands of halogens.
Other Contributions: Asundi established laboratories for spectroscopic research at BHU, BARC and AMU, Aligarh. A scholar of Indian philosophy and lover of literature, especially of Kannada, Asundi enriched the cultural lives of his students and colleagues. He was Council Member of INSA (1962).
Awards and Honours: Asundi was conferred upon MN Saha Memorial Lectureship by Indian Physical Society (1964) and received Copper Shield and Vignan Sangama by Bombay Kannada Sahitya Sammelan (1967-68). Asundi was also honoured with KS Krishnan Memorial Lectureship (1969); and K Rangadhama Rao Memorial Lectureship of INSA (1979). He was a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; President, Physics Section of Indian Science Congress (1955); Member of American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, Indian Physical Society (President, 1961-63) and Karnataka Historical Research Association (Honorary Secretary). He was Vice-President (1969-70) of INSA.
Indian National Science Academy has instituted 'Professor Rango Krishna Asundi Memorial Lecture' in his honour.