NIAS director prof Baladev Raj is no more

Prof Baladev Raj, renowned scientist and director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) here, died in Pune on Saturday. He was 70.

He had gone to Pune to attend a conference. Known for his research in nuclear science, Baldev Raj held various eminent positions and won many fellowships before becoming the director of NIAS in 2014. He was the scientific officer  in the Department of Atomic Energy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, in 1970. He became the director of Department of Atomic Energy, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, in 1993.

His field of interest ranged from materials science and technologies to medical technologies, and cultural heritage and policies. He was also known for his contributions to the world of academic research.

A Padma Shri, Baladev Raj has to his credit more than 1,300 publications, 80 books and over 100 articles in encyclopedia and handbooks besides achievements like patents.

He was conferred with the lifetime achievement award by the Indian Nuclear Society, the Homi Bhabha gold medal and the Nayudamma memorial award.

In an official statement, the NIAS said Baldev Raj took the institution to the new heights. "He not only bridged the gap between the institution and the government but also played
a major part in decision-making. He took steps to increase the number of staff in the institution and bringing grants to the research projects," the statement added.  

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