Bharat Ratna was instituted in 1954 and among the first recipients was Sir C.V. Raman. It is a measure of the value that our society places on science, that in the next 60 years no scientist was awarded this highest civilian honour. The late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam does not count, since he was not a scientist. Then in 2013, the well-known chemist, C.N.R. Rao, was awarded the nation's highest award.
C.N.R., as Rao is known, is not a stranger to honours and awards. There would scarcely be an academic honour (minus the coveted Nobel) which he has not received. Apart from his path-breaking and well recognised scientific achievements, he has also, for many decades, been involved with scientific administration and policy making. One, therefore, expected that the autobiography of a person who has been so intimately associated with science in India for the last half a century, would offer unique insights into the world of Indian science. Rao disappoints in this respect.