alexa Raman Research Institute

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Raman Research Institute

Much before Raman thought about founding a research institute of his own, he had approached the then Maharaja of Mysore seeking land to build office and conference premises for the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), which was again a brainchild of Raman's. The Maharaja readily acceded to Raman's request and a 10-acre (40,000 m2) plot of land in the posh Malleshwaram suburb of Bangalore was allotted to the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1934. However, the Academy (headed by Raman) made no use of the land for seven years. According to the terms of the allotment, the land could be resumed by the government of Mysore at the end of 1941, if it remained unused. Therefore, in 1941, Raman as President of the IAS held an extraordinary meeting of the academy and proposed that a research institute (to be named after himself) be built on the land. This proposal was sanctioned and a stone was laid on the ground, signifying that the land was now in use. However, it was not until 1948 that the institute could be inaugurated. Raman had planned the institute much before he retired as the head of the Physics Department of the Indian Institute of Science. His idea had been to walk straight into his newly founded institute when he retired from IISc. This happened in 1948. Thus, the Raman Research Institute began under the umbrella of the Indian Academy of Sciences. During Raman's own time, the presidency of the Indian Academy of Sciences and the directorship of the Raman Research Institute (RRI) were both vested in him and he was the undisputed supreme authority at both places. This highly personal style suited the temperament of the founder. Another major facet of Raman's temperament was his hatred for writing project reports, or for that matter giving periodic status reports to those who fund projects. For this reason, Raman refused to accept any funds from the Indian government and other sources. "He was of the firm belief that science could not be done that way." says Prof. N. V Madhusudana, Dean of Research at RRI and a leading liquid crystal scientist. As a Nobel laurate, Raman enjoyed a monumental standing in Indian public life and was able to raise funds for the institute through private donations and fund-raisers which did not involve any governmental authority. "Till Raman's death, this was his private research institute. He had a very small group of research students working with him and a very few administrative staff" says Prof. Madhusudana. Raman was clear that after his death, when the Presidency of the IAS and Director of the RRI could devolve upon different individuals, RRI should not remain subordinate to the IAS but should enjoy autonomy and have a distinct statutory identity of its own. Therefore, just before his death, Raman chartered out a framework for running the institute, separating it completely from the Indian Academy of Sciences and giving it statutory autonomy. The Institute adopted the change immediately after Raman's death in 1971 with the consent of the government, and stepped into a new era as a statutory body, functioning since 1972 on annual grants received from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

The following is the list of articles by scholars from Raman Research Institute that are published in OMICS International journals.