PVS Rao did his PhD (1961) from University of Bombay specializing in speech research & computer architecture. He was the Senior Research Scientist, Computer R&D Group (1972-78), Project Director, Sponsored Project (1972-84), Professor & Head, Speech and Digital Systems Group (1978-83), Professor (G) & Head, Computer Systems & Communications Group (1980-90), Senior Professor & Head, Computer Systems & Communications Group (1990), all at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
Academic and Research Achievements: Rao developed TIFRAC, India's first electronic computer, ILLIAC II of the University of Illinois, and OLDAP, the first Indian computer. As project director, he brought to fruition two major inter-ogranisational classified projects, automatic data-handling for air defence involving joint participation of a member of research and development and production organizations in the country and an automatic electronic switch. He also worked on speech synthesis and recognition.
Other Contributions: Rao edited four books, An introduction to Computer Programming in FORTRAN and other Languages (Tata McGraw-Hill) (1980), Data Conversion Principles, Chapter II, (John Wiley & Sons); BASIC Elementary, Standard and Enchanced (Macmillan India Ltd., 1989) and Trends in Computer Architecture: An Indepth Perspective (Prentice-Hall of India Pvt. Ltd., 1991). Rao was Advisory Member, Editorial Committee, IEICE Trans. Fundament. Electron., Commun. Comput. Sci., Japan. He was a Member, Governing Council, India Statistical Institute; telecommunications, R&D Council and Telecommunication Commission, Ministry of Communications. Rao advised on the organization of computer science teaching programmes at postgraduate level at several official committees, he was concerned with evolution of R&D programmes in computers, solid-state electronics and related fields. As member of the Technology Development Council of the Electronics Commission, Chairman of Working Group on Computers and director on the board of Computer Maintenance Corporation Ltd., he has also been responsible for implementation of this policy.
Awards and Honours: Rao is the recipient of Vikram Sarabhai Award (1976), Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1978), VASVIK Award (1987) and Padma Shri (1987). He is a Fellow/Member, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Acoustical Society of India, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Institution of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (USA), Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (India), and Acoustical Society of India.