Srikanth Kolari
Biological Scientist
Prof Obaid Siddiqi
Making the National Centre for Biological Sciences, which he set up, a world-class institution
COMMENTS PRINT
Theoretical Physicist
Has proved that pioneering scientific thinking and world-class research is still happening in India.
Electrical engineer
Empowering rural India through telecom and computer technology
Entrepreneur
Giving traditional handlooms and handicrafts contemporary relevance
Doctors
Creating an internationally acclaimed and adopted model for drastically reducing child mortality in backward rural areas
Governor
A rare example of humility, ethical conduct and scholarship in public life
Civil Servant
Creating a successful model for checking female foeticide, running a district that is a model of efficient governance
Politician
Ensuring that the UPA gives rural development high priority, and that NREGs makes history
Spiritual Leader
Using his spiritual influence to engage rural folks in large-scale environmental, anti-pollution projects
Development Professional
Recruiting the best professional talent to work on a wide range of remarkably profitable rural livelihood promotion projects that have transformed the lives of nearly 70,000 families
Filmmaker
Making films that successfully challenge the tired Bollywood box-office formula, yet captivate audiences.
Campaigner Against Communalism
Fearless crusader against communalism in Gujarat. Has paid a heavy price for his outspoken activism.
Civil Servant
A quiet, low-key force in the bureaucracy
Lawyer
Forced Delhi's educational bureaucracy and private schools to recognise the rights of poor children
Educationist
Leads a huge effort to improve the quality of primary education in government schools
campaigner For Rural Sanitation
Transforming disease-ridden hamlets into sparkling model villages
Social Reformer
Leads a nationwide crusade to abolish the dehumanising practice of manual scavenging
Diplomat
Winning Pakistan's trust, and keeping communication channels open, even in difficult times
Economist
His survey of Indian Muslims has offered both a challenge and critique to policy, showing up its gross inadequacies and spurring it to more focused action
Editor, EPW
Runs a magazine that has set the agenda for intellectual debate, government policies for nearly 60 years
human rights lawyer
Fighting for the rights of the marginalised all over India, exposing state abuses
Development Economist
His incisive work on hunger, child malnutrition and other issues has brought the Other India into intellectual and policy focus
Historian
A leader among social scientists, cutting across disciplines. Uses history to counter communal propaganda, modern myths.
Actor
Among the New Generation of actors, his ability to set every role on a slow, crackling flame has set new standards of excellence
Journalist
Putting rural India and the farmers' crisis firmly on the national and media agenda
The Alternative power list
Thinking change in India is a thankless task. A few who are sticking it out for the greater common good.
Vinod Mehta
Professor Obaid Siddiqi has a charm that is more that of an artist than a scientist. Perhaps people who probe such defining yet mysterious elements of the human body like genes are first artists. Decades ago, as a student of the legendary Annapurna Devi, he was unsuccessful when he tried to pluck the strings of the sarod, but he went on to master the intricate strands of the DNA double-helix. His early work on the nature of the gene eventually contributed to the breaking of the genetic code in the 1960s. As extraordinary as Siddiqi's scientific brilliance is his achievement as a great institution-builder. Having made a truly world-class institution out of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, which he set up in the '80s in Bangalore, he then quietly handed over its reins in 1997 to his younger colleagues. Highly honoured abroad and at home, Prof Siddiqi remains a publicity-shy, self-effacing man who at 75 still goes daily to work in his basement lab at NCBS, still trying to crack the puzzle of how smell gets imprinted in the fruit fly's brain. Such work in neurogenetics, sadly, can't help answer the question of how we fail to remember India's truly significant personages.
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COMMENTS PRINT
Theoretical Physicist
Has proved that pioneering scientific thinking and world-class research is still happening in India.
Electrical engineer
Empowering rural India through telecom and computer technology
Entrepreneur
Giving traditional handlooms and handicrafts contemporary relevance
Doctors
Creating an internationally acclaimed and adopted model for drastically reducing child mortality in backward rural areas
Governor
A rare example of humility, ethical conduct and scholarship in public life
Civil Servant
Creating a successful model for checking female foeticide, running a district that is a model of efficient governance
Politician
Ensuring that the UPA gives rural development high priority, and that NREGs makes history
Spiritual Leader
Using his spiritual influence to engage rural folks in large-scale environmental, anti-pollution projects
Development Professional
Recruiting the best professional talent to work on a wide range of remarkably profitable rural livelihood promotion projects that have transformed the lives of nearly 70,000 families
Filmmaker
Making films that successfully challenge the tired Bollywood box-office formula, yet captivate audiences.
Campaigner Against Communalism
Fearless crusader against communalism in Gujarat. Has paid a heavy price for his outspoken activism.
Civil Servant
A quiet, low-key force in the bureaucracy
Lawyer
Forced Delhi's educational bureaucracy and private schools to recognise the rights of poor children
Educationist
Leads a huge effort to improve the quality of primary education in government schools
campaigner For Rural Sanitation
Transforming disease-ridden hamlets into sparkling model villages
Social Reformer
Leads a nationwide crusade to abolish the dehumanising practice of manual scavenging
Diplomat
Winning Pakistan's trust, and keeping communication channels open, even in difficult times
Economist
His survey of Indian Muslims has offered both a challenge and critique to policy, showing up its gross inadequacies and spurring it to more focused action
Editor, EPW
Runs a magazine that has set the agenda for intellectual debate, government policies for nearly 60 years
human rights lawyer
Fighting for the rights of the marginalised all over India, exposing state abuses
Development Economist
His incisive work on hunger, child malnutrition and other issues has brought the Other India into intellectual and policy focus
Historian
A leader among social scientists, cutting across disciplines. Uses history to counter communal propaganda, modern myths.
Actor
Among the New Generation of actors, his ability to set every role on a slow, crackling flame has set new standards of excellence
Journalist
Putting rural India and the farmers' crisis firmly on the national and media agenda
The Alternative power list
Thinking change in India is a thankless task. A few who are sticking it out for the greater common good.
Vinod Mehta

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