Mudumbai Seshachalu Narasimhan did his BA (Hons) degree (1953) in Mathematics from Loyola College, Madras University and PhD from Bombay University (1960: advisor K Chandarsekharan). He was CNRS Fellow in Paris working with Laurent Schwartz (1957-60); Professor of Mathematics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) from 1965 onwards and Professor of Eminence at TIFR (1990-92). He served as Director of Mathematics at International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (1993-99). Among major invitations abroad are: Invited speaker, International Congress of Mathematicians, Nice (1970), Commonwealth Visiting Professor, UK (1973-74), Japan Society for Promotion of Science Visiting Professorship (1976, 1990), Visiting Professor, German Research Council(1987),Visiting Professor, Universities of Paris and Nice (1979, 1992).
Academic and Research Achievements: His contributions are in the areas of Algebraic Geometry, Differential Geometry,Representation Theory of Lie groups and Partial Differential Equations. In Algebraic Geometry he has made pioneering contributions to the development of the theory of moduli spaces of vector bundles on curves and higher dimensional projective varieties. His work with CS Seshadri relating stable vector bundles on a curve with representations of the fundamental group has been a model for an enormous range of results relating algebraic geometry, differential geometry and non-linear partial differential equations. His papers with S Ramanan on Universal Connections and moduli of vector bundles, his work with G Harder which introduced canonical filtrations on algebraic vector bundles and his paper with K Okamoto on the concrete realisations of discrete series representations of Harish-Chandra have been highly influential. Several distinguished Indian mathematicians were his former research students.
Other Contributions: He has played a key role in the development of Mathematics in India and in developing countries by influencing several mathematicians and by creating structures for promoting research in Mathematics. He was the founding-Chairman of the National Board of Higher Mathematics of the Government of India. He was a member of the Executive Committee of International Mathematical Union (IMU) from 1982 to 1986 and President of the Commission on Development and Exchange of IMU (1986-94). He was an INSA Council Member (1977-79) and Vice-President, Indian Academy of Sciences (1980-82).
Awards and Honours: Narasimhan is a Fellow of The Royal Society, London, Indian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He is a recipient of Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal of INSA (1988). Among the other distinctions and awards he received are: King Faisal International Prize for Science (2006), TWAS Award for Mathematics (1987), CV Raman Birth Centenary Award of Indian Science Congress Association (1994), SS Bhatnagar Prize and Honorary Fellowship of TIFR. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India and "Chevalier de l'ordre du Merite" by the President of France.