Bharat Ratna Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao (C. N. R. Rao), now in his 83rd year, a passionate and dedicated scientist, is a multi-faceted living legend. He is the only living Indian scientist who is a Bharat Ratna (gem of India), the country’s highest civilian honour. It was awarded to him for his lifelong commitment to high quality science, his exemplary achievement, and his leadership over decades. Rao ranks easily as one of the most prominent chemists of the world. Typically, a living legend in the academic world is a figure who inspires students and colleagues with his insights, attitudes and work. He is that and much more. He is also an unparalleled leader and mover in Indian science over the last many decades, a farsighted and watchful sentinel for science in India and elsewhere, a great builder of institutions, and a joyous communicator of science to thousands of young people. Current Science provides partial picture of this many-dimensional giant.
C. N. R. Rao: the legendary Indian chemist