Prof N.V.Chalapathi Rao studied B.Sc (Hons) (1989) and M.Sc (1991) in Geology from Osmania University, Hyderabad and did his Ph.Ds from Osmania University (1994) and University of Cambridge, U.K (1997). Prof Rao did his Post-Doctoral work as a Senior Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University of Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany (2008-2010 and in 2011). Upon his return to India from U.K. he joined Department of Applied Geochemistry, Osmania University as a Scientist-Pool of CSIR (1997-1998) and later as a Scientific Officer at the Ore-Dressing Division of the Indian Bureau of Mines (Ministry of Mines, Gov. of India) where he served almost for a decade (1998-2007). He subsequently moved over in 2007 to the Department of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, as a Reader, became an Associate Professor in 2010 and a full Professor in 2013 and is continuing in that position.
Academic and Research Achievements: Prof Rao has immensely contributed towards the petrogenetic aspects of small-volume potassic to highly potassic rocks such as kimberlites, lamproites, lamprophyres and their entrained xenoliths (including diamond). His researches addressed their role in unraveling the large-scale geodynamic processes of the Indian shield including the composition and evolution of its sub-continental lithospheric mantle, origin and original spatial extent of the Mesozoic Large Igneous Provinces (viz., Deccan Flood basalts, Rajmahal basalts) and the Proterozoic sedimentary basins (viz.,Purana basins). He has also contributed to the study of mafic dykes and dyke swarms, alkaline rocks, and mass-extinctions associated with the Cretaceous-Tertiary (65 Ma) boundary. His researches culminated in the establishment of an important school of mantle petrology in India. He has published > 110 research papers in SCI journals, co-edited three special volumes and two books. He has successfully guided 13 students for their Ph.D degrees and about 30 students for their Masters dissertations.
Other Contributions: Prof Rao has set up state-of-the art Electron Micro Probe Analyzer (EPMA; in 2016) and Scanning electron microscope (SEM; in 2018) facilities at BHU from his own grants as PI from DST-SERB and these national facilities are well utilized by students and researchers from all disciplines across the country. He is also the incumbent editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Earth System Science (Indian Academy of Sciences) and editorial board member of a number of journals such as Current Science, Geological Journal (London), Indian Journal of Geosciences, Indian Journal of Geology, Journal of Indian Geophysical Union etc. He also served previously on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Geological Society of India and Himalayan Geology.
Awards and Honours: Prof Rao is a recipient of National Merit Certificate from Ministry of Education & Culture (Govt. of India, 1984), University First rank holder at Bachelors & Masters degrees and triple Gold Medallist at Masters (1991), Cambridge-Jawahar Lal Nehru Scholarship for pursuing PhD at Univ. of Cambridge (1993-1997), Overseas Research Scholarship by Assn. of British Universities (1993-1997), Studentship award by Cambridge Philosophical Society (1996), Peravadhanulu Award by IIME (2006), National Mineral Award (Geochemistry; Individual category) by Govt of India (2007), Naganna Gold Medal of Mineralogical Society of India (2007), Krishnan Gold Medal by Indian Geophysical Union (2007), K.Naha Award by the Geological Society of India (2008), Senior Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship by Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2008), ISAG Gold medal by Indian Society of Applied Geochemists (2010), Dr Coggin J Brown Gold medal by MGMI (2012), UGC Research (Career) Award (2012), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) Award (2013), Prof C.N.R.Rao award for outstanding research by BHU (2017), Anni Talwani Memorial Prize by Indian Geophysical Union (2018), Belur Rama Rao Birth Centenary Award of the Geological Society of India (2019), Award of Excellence by the Society of Geologists and Allied Technologists (SGAT), Bhubaneshwar (2019) and National Award of Excellence in Geoscience & Technology (2020) by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt.of India. He delivered Prof T.N.Muthuswamy endowment lecture of Geological Society of India (2013), Prof I.C.Pande Endowment lecture of Panjab University (2016),Prof D.K. Rai Memorial Lecture of Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University (2021) & GSI Sesquicentennial lectureship award (2022) of the Asiatic Society. Kolkata. He is also a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (FASc), and the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Science Academies.