C.N.R. Rao – An Eminent Indian Chemist Whose Success Rocket was Ignited by His Parents

C.N.R. Rao_1

Hard work pays off later, the reason being, a perfection is stable that can be attained after a certain duration whereas shortcuts can bring instant results, but they are not consistent. C.N.R. Rao is one of the legends who earned his expertise after contributing over 60 years.

Most of us might be knowing C.N.R. Rao, but for some, he might be still unknown. So, let us find out, who is he and what makes him so popular?

Who is C.N.R. Rao?

C.N.R. Rao_5

C.N.R. Rao also known as Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is an Indian chemist who has acquired specialization in solid-state and structural chemistry. Currently, the master mind is serving the Prime Minister of India as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council. From 60 reputed universities, C. N. R. Rao has achieved the honorary doctorate.

There are endless achievements and contributions for which C. N. R. Rao sets the best example to the youth.

Well! The amazing and obvious fact is that he was not alone who started and traveled his journey of success, but it was his parents also, who made him to get a remarkable accomplishment. Here, we have discussed, how he started polishing himself at the early stage.


No doubt, at the age of 3, child starts learning quickly and swiftly. The reason being, this is the age at which the mind of the child develops at the very high rate. All they need is the support and the right guidance.

Luckily, C. N. R. Rao was one of them whose training started at the very small age. Born on 30th June 1934 in Bangalore to Hanumantha Nagesa Rao and Nagamma Nagesa Rao, he was raised by his parents that enabled him to follow the right path to success.

C. N. R. Rao was the only child of his parents, thus the most beloved soul for Hanumantha Nagesa Rao and Nagamma Nagesa Rao.

Usually, parents shower immense love to their only child, which makes them lame in their career. But, his parents were not the one who did so. They did something praisable and worth for him. Let’s find out, what was it?

What C. N. R. Rao’s parents did to him?

Despite of the fact that C. N. R. Rao was the only beloved child, they never let him to go his career in vein. They maintained an academic environment within the home that helped C. N. R. Rao to develop an interest in studies. Now-a-days, parents don’t prefer giving time to their kids for studies, instead they send them for tuition. In contrast to this, his parents knew the tactic of making his kid to study at home.

At the time, when C. N. R. Rao was a small kid, people were not influenced by the importance of education, but it was his parents who knew the importance of education.

C. N. R. Rao was fortunate to receive teachings from his parents. His mother imparted her knowledge as Hindu literature and his father made him to learn English at the very early age. They made so much efforts to teach him that C. N. R. Rao did not attended school.

Another interesting fact is, C. N. R. Rao’s mother home-tutored him with Hindu literature and arithmetic. His lessons given by parents were so amazing that till 6 years of age, C. N. R. Rao didn’t attended school. In 1940, he was admitted to middle school by his parents.

When C. N. R. Rao went school:

C.N.R. Rao_02

  • “Practice makes the man perfect” .

A 6 years old is definitely a small child for middle school, so was C. N. R. Rao. He was the youngest among all his classmates, but all the practices and exercises done by him at home made him to give an outstanding performance in class.

Although, he was the youngest, he used to give English (taught by father) and mathematics (taught by mother) tutions to his classmates.

  • In 1944, when C.N.R. turned 10 and passed lower secondary examination with first class, it was an incredible achievement, not only for him, but also for his parents. Afterall, it was his parents, who made all the subjects easy for him.

As the reward, his father gave him for twenty-five paisa. This might be the reward for C. N. R. Rao, but actually it was the booster for him. For every child, no matter what, reward act as the motivation booster.

  • During his studies, he came across many opportunities that inspired him some or the other way. The credit goes to his father who enrolled him to one of the best schools. His father might have researched over the reputation of the schools before enrolling C.N.R.

The early years gave an opportunity to meet great Kannada literary giants such as DV Gundappa. One of the fondest memories was meeting Nobel laureate professor CV Raman when he visited our school in 1946. Later, we had the privilege of seeing his lab, a great and humbling experience that had a big and lasting effect on me.” – C.N.R.Rao.

  • Ultimately, a phase came to his life, when his actual journey to become the renowned Indian chemist. This phase started when he got admitted by his parents to Acharya Patashala high school in Basavanagudi. There he got the real influence from chemistry.
  • His parents never wanted to drop out the knowledge when they have taught to him, so they enrolled him to Kannada medium course. The reason being, it was his mother tongue and at home, he always conversed in English.

The only son to my parents, I grew up in the old part of Bangalore in the Basavanagudi area and I fondly recall my mother telling me lots of mythological stories and her daily pujas greatly impacted me. I think by six or so my mother had narrated in Kannada all the episodes of the Ramayana and Mahabharatha.” – C.N.R. Rao.

  • Again, C.N.R. made another remarkable achievement by securing first class in secondary school which got completed in 1947. Following senior secondary school, he chose to study within his city only. Therefore, to pursue B.Sc., C.NR. attended Central College in Bangalore where he learned English and Sanskrit.

It influenced my own journey into spirituality. My father wanted me to speak in English too, and it helped that there was an academic atmosphere at home. While I was in the middle school World War II broke out and the freedom movement was in full swing. Part of my high school was in the Acharya Patashala in Basavanagudi and one of the epochal events here was the love for chemistry. I passed my high school exam in first class in 1947.” – C.N.R. Rao.

  • After C.N.R., completed the bachelor’s degree in first class, he gave the thought to join Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for higher studies. But his teacher knew that as per his skills, he deserves more. So, he attended Banaras Hindu University and obtained a masters degree in Chemistry.
  • Due to parent’s efforts, dedication and teachings, C.N.R. kept on achieving immense success. Therefore, he got recognised by various renowned institutions, not only from India, but also abroad.

He not only gained the scholarship for PhD in IIT, Kharagpur, but also received the offers for financial support by Penn State, MIT, Purdue and Columbia. Among all these, he chose Purdue.

I listened to the heart-stirring speeches by leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. I also took part in some of the freedom movement meetings in whatever capacity I could. Armed with an early interest in science I joined Central College, Bangalore, passing BSc in first class at the age of 17. College also gave me a chance to hone my skills in English, debates and other activities. I had also learnt Sanskrit by then. Those were also the days when I enjoyed the little joys of life like set dosas or ragi muddes (ragi balls) or even surviving on half a cup of coffee.”, says, C.N.R. Rao.

  • When C.N.R. was just twenty, he published his first research paper in Agra University Journal of Research. And, when he turned 1958, he successfully completed PhD.

“Professor Joshi wanted me to start my research for MSc right away. We had to work hard in the nights due to power shortages. Professor Joshi also helped us enlarge our vision by asking us to prepare abstracts for presentation in the annual science congress sessions. We gained fresh insights into our fields of study interacting with great scientists who stopped by at BHU. My first paper was in the Agra University Journal of Research in 1954.” – C.N.R. Rao.

Obtaining first PhD was the first step that boosted his motivation. Later, Rao obtained doctorates from 60 recognised universities. Till date, he has written 1,500 research papers and 45 scientific books.

The entire journey of getting exposure to grab immense knowledge got completed with the help of his father and mother who sowed the seed of learning from his childhood.

Consistency was another factor that he learned from his parents and eventually, it helped him to get an immense fame and knowledge in his domain.

When C.N.R. Rao touched the winning line:

Quite obvious, C.N.R. Rao unfurled his knowledge all over India and world with his write ups and researches. So how the Government of India could have ignored his talent, thus, they announced his selection for Bharat Ratna on 16th November 2013.

With this highest civilian award of India, C.N.R. Rao became the third scientist following C.V. Raman and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to receive this honour.

C.N.R. Rao_3_01

Former President Pranab Mukherjee honoured C.N.R with the award in the special ceremony conducted in Rashtrapati Bhavan on 4th Feb 2014.

Again, C.N.R. received the reward and motivation booster for his work, but this time, it was the Government of India, but not his father who rewarded him at his childhood. And this time, this reward not only motivated him, but also the youth and aspirants of India who want to immense knowledge like him.

Be it home-tutoring, enrolling C.N.R. Rao to the best school, sending him for higher education or support his family always took his stand.

Recalling early days, C.N.R. Rao shared his memories in an interview and said, It was a hot day when my family alighted at the Kanpur railway station in April 1963. A new life at IIT Kanpur that would carry on till 1976. Its director PK Kelkar had an immense faith in me, making me HOD at 29. In 1964, Sir CV Raman wrote to me that I was elected a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences; the recognition only reinforced a commitment to pursue scientific activities. Another big high was the Marlow Medal in 1967 by the Faraday Society of England for outstanding contributions to physical chemistry by young scientists below 33.”

What you must learn from C.N.R. Rao’s success?

C.N.R. Rao_4

C.N.R. Rao was nurtured by his parents since his childhood. When the country was not even independent and people were least interested in getting exposure for education, his parents home-tutored him.

The learning phase for C.N.R. Rao was the best phase as he was a small kid who have outstanding ability to learn new things. They taught him so well such that when he joined the school, he started tutoring his own class-mates who were elder from him.

You can also become one of those parents who can impart your knowledge to your child at early stage. This will not only develop the interest within them to learn, but can also help in getting the bright future career. If you have also inspired with the success story of C.N.R. Rao’s success which is also a success of their parents, you need to start right now.

Well! If you do not know, how to start, when to start and where to start, YoGems can help you to find out. No matter, whatever it is; finding the tutor, school, best institute, location for higher studies, expert’s consultation or parenting advice, YoGems will serve all the solutions. With us, you can also gift another C.N.R. Rao to India.

I wish in 20 years India will be in the top three or four countries in the world in science. I really want to see India shine.” – C.N.R. Rao.

It’s only you and YoGems who can fulfill the above mentioned wishes of the genius, C.N.R. Rao.



Shivangi Gupta is a Content Writer Expert at YoGems. With years of experience in writing blogs, articles and guides, she writes about every sport. Also, she is good at sports and expert in shooting and won numerable awards at various events. She started receiving shooting training under her father at the age of 6. To get updated with her posts, stay tuned to the website.