Subramaniam Ananthakrishnan had his collegiate education in Calcutta University from where he obtained BSc (Hons) (1963), BTech (1965) and MTech (1966) degrees. He joined the Radio Astronomy Group of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1966 as a research scholar and remained there till retirement (2007) as a Senior Professor at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, TIFR, Pune. He obtained his PhD (1976) from Bombay University, worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of California, Sandiego (1977-79), during which he, William Coles and others showed that the solar wind increases systematically with heliographic latitude ending in polar coronal holes. He was a Visiting Scientist at MPIFR (Bonn), NRL (USA), Nagoya University (Japan), ATNF (Australia) and Hartebeesthoek Observatory (South Africa) besides being an NRC Senior Research Associate, (1991-92) at the Space Environmental Lab, Boulder. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor and Raja Ramanna Fellow at the Electronic Science Department of Pune University.
Academic and Research Achievements: Ananthakrishnan was deeply involved in setting up the large Ooty Radio Telescope (1966-73) and its operation till 1988. With colleagues Satyendra Bhandari and Pramesh Rao, he made the first radio scintillation observations of a cometary plasma tail during the apparition of comet Kohoutek using the Ooty telescope. He was the project scientist for the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) (1987-98) and also the Observatory Director of GMRT (2000-04). Ananthakrishnan made extensive observations of radio sources such as quasars. His team showed that the velocity of the solar wind can be estimated from single radio telescope like the one at Ooty. His team also studied tidal interaction in galaxy groups and made the first solar observations with GMRT. Ananthakrishnan has published about 85 papers in national and international journals. He mentored more than a dozen students at MSc, BE and PhD levels. He is also involved with scientists from Sweden and India to put a novel science payload on the Chandrayaan II Satellite Mission, scheduled for possible launch in 2012-13.
Other Contributions: Ananthakrishnan has contributed greatly in building up a base for Radio Astronomy Research in the country. He played a leading role in the commissioning of GMRT in 1999. He is involved in setting up of several modern astronomy instruments in India like ASTROSAT and a new 3.6 m optical telescope at Devasathal near Nainital. He is a Founder Member of the Astronomical Society of India and was its Vice President (2002-05). He is also a Member of the International Astronomical Union, and Chairman (elect) of the Radio Astronomy Commission J of URSI (2008-11). He is a Member of the INSA Council (2008)
Awards and Honours: Ananthakrishnan received the Sir CV Raman Gold Medal of the Jagadish Bose National Science Talent Search Institution, Kolkata and a recipient of Raja Ramanna Fellowship of DAE-BRNS (2007-10). Ananthakrishnan is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.