O. N. Bhargava postgraduated in Geology from the Lucknow University in 1958. He was awarded PhD degree by the Panjab University in 1974 for contribution to the Tal Group in the Nigali Dhar Syncline, Sirmur District, Himachal Pradesh. He joined the Geological Survey of India in 1961 and retired in 1996. during his entire service in the GSI, he worked in the Himalaya (Himachal, Kashmir, Ladakh, part of Uttarakhand and Bhutan), save two years when he looked after the environment geological aspects of Rajasthan and Gujarat. After retirement he served as Visiting Professor (Guest Professor), Vienna University-2011.
Academic and Research Achievements
Dr. O.N. Bhargava’s original scientific research as an earth-scientist has been undertaken in mostly topographically challenging terrains, including some of the most extreme terrains on Earth. He has won international recognition for the quantity and quality of research monographs and other major publications derived from decades of such fieldwork. His research has resulted in largely rewriting of the stratigraphy, sedimentary dynamics, structure, tectonic evolution and palaeogeography of much of the Himalaya from Kashmir to Bhutan―from the Lesser Himalaya to the High Himalaya and Trans-Himalaya (including numerous expeditions to Spiti, Lahaul, Kinnaur and Bhutan).
Dr Bhargava has produced, solely or as co-author, an impressive suite of publications (in excess of 120) principally on Himalayan earth sciences. Results obtained by him from his research have resulted in major advances, inter alia, in understanding of the evolution of the Precambrian basement metamorphic complexes of the Himalaya and their structural relationships for which so much earlier work had been unable to extract useful understanding. Particular attention is drawn to his first major contribution, on the Krol Belt and associated formations, to his monograph on the geology of Spiti and Kinnaur (co-authored by U.K. Bassi) superseding in a definitive way the prior, highly regarded monographs by J.B. Auden and by Sir Henry Hayden respectively, and to his masterful synthesis of Early Palaeozoic palaeogeography, basin configuration, etc. of the Indian Plate. Dr Bhargava’s publications bear witness to his exceptional powers of observation and ability to re-interpret long accepted data and come up with often novel and compelling new interpretations.
He was a Convenor and Co-convenor of IUGS Projects and member of several IUGS Projects, member of the Governing Council, Frontier Basins, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Dehradun (2008-2009), Faculty Member of the Training Institute of the Geological Survey of India for five years, Conducted Field Workshop for Petroleum Earth Scientists, organized by the Association of Petroleum Geologists, India, in the Spiti Valley (2005-2009). Delivered the First Auden Memorial Lecture at the Wadia Institute (1998), M.R. Sahni Memorial Lecture at the Lucknow University (1997), Birbal Sahni Memorial Lecture at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany November (2010), Special lectures at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (1971, 1979), Panjab University (1977), Kumaon University (1986), Aligarh University (1989), Indian National Science Academy (1992).
Has delivered several popular lectures pertaining to geology under the aegis of an NGO, Society for Promoting Science and Technology in India
National Mineral Award-1974; L.Rama Rao Award-1992, GSI Sequential Asiatic Society Award-2011, Prof. R. C. Misra Memorial Life Time Achievement Award- 2015,