Dr Harsh Gupta obtained his BSc (Hons), MSc and AISM from the Indian School of Mines and PhD from the University of Roorkee. He was Director, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Trivandrum (1982-87) and Leader of the 3rd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (1983-84), which established a permanent base for India. He was Vice-Chancellor, Cochin University of Science & Technology (1987-90); Adviser, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (1990-92); Director, National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad (1992-2001); and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Ocean Development ( now Ministry of Earth Sciences, 2001-05). He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas (1978-2001) and Visiting Professor to the Universities of Hamburg and Paris Sud. He has also been a Visiting Scientist to US Geological Survey and Adviser/Consultant to UNESCO, ICSU, IAEA and the Commonwealth Science Council. Dr Gupta is currently Raja Ramanna Fellow at the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Gupta specialized in Earth Sciences and their application to address problems of continents and oceans. He is globally known for his work on artificial water reservoir-triggered earthquakes for developing criteria to discriminate them from normal earthquakes. He has also developed procedures to estimate potential of occurrence of reservoir- triggered earthquakes at a given site. In the recent years, he has contributed to understanding the genesis of stable continental region earthquakes. Dr Gupta carried out detailed investigations of regional crustal structure of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea using the state-of-the-art surface-wave dispersion techniques. He has published over 150 research papers in international journals, written four pioneering books, and edited over 15 volumes.
Other Contributions: As Secretary, Department of Ocean Developmetnt, Dr Gupta implemented several new programmes, such as, scientific work necessary for submitting India's claims on Legal Continental Shelf; detailed bathymetry surveys in the entire EEZ of India; building an Indo-Russian Gas Hydrate Centre at Chennai; designing an Early Warning System for oceanogenic hazards (Tsunami and Storm Surges) for India, as well as successful commissioning of a 1 MLD low temperature thermal desalination plant at Kavaratti, Lakshadweep islands. Dr Gupta has revolutionized application of earth sciences by significantly contributing to water resource finding, rainwater harvesting and water pollution related studies as well as ways and means of assessing and safeguarding against earthquake hazards. He is the President of the Geological Society of India, a Member of the CSPR/ICSU as well as ICSU Planning Group on natural and human-induced hazards and disasters; Vice President of IUGG; Founder President of Asian Seismological Commission; and has been Councilor of IUGS; Bureau member of IASPEI and ILP. He was the General President of the Indian Science Congress (2007).
Awards and Honours: Dr Gupta received the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1983), USSR Academy of Sciences' "100 Years of International Geophysics" Memorial Medal (1985), National Mineral Award (1991), the Indian Geophysical Union Millennium Award (2000), Indian Society of Applied Geochemists Millennium Award (2000), Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary visiting Fellowship (2003) and Professor K Naha Memorial Award (2004) of INSA, National Mineral Award for Excellence (2002), Padma Shri by Government of India (2006), Nayudamma Memorial Gold Medal Award (2008), National Award in Ocean Science & Technology (2008) and the Waldo E Smith Medal Award of the American Geophysical Union (2008). He is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.