Prof. Shri Krishna Joshi, one of the best science leader and condensed matter physicist of this country left to his heavenly abode on 15 May, 2020 at the age of 86 at his residence in Gurugram, Haryana. Through his academic journey from Allahabad University to National Physics Laboratory, he contributed to the research work in different fields and bagged many prestigious awards including Padma Shri, Padmavibhushan, Watumull Memorial Prize, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Physical Sciences and many more.
Prof. Joshi was born on June 06, 1935 in a small village of Anarpa in Kumaun, Uttarakhand, India. After his schooling through tough terrain of Himalayas, he obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc. degrees in first class from Allahabad University. Prof. Joshi pursued his research work in measurement of diffuse X-ray scattering from organic crystals for his doctoral degree with K. Banerjee and received his PhD degree in 1962 from Allahabad University.
Later on in 1965, he worked for two years as visiting Lecturer in University of California, Riverside, USA, returned India and then joined as Professor of Physics at University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee) and worked there till 1986.
Life at National Physical Laboratory
In 1986, Prof. Joshi was appointed as the Director of National Physical Laboratory and worked there till 1991. His expertise in the lattice vibrations made it easy for him to take the research activities of high temperature superconductors at NPL. He proposed a new variational method for the periodic Anderson model to study the ground state behavior of heavy fermions and estimated the c-axis resistivity of high temperature superconductors. NPL also started the work on nanotechnology. He investigated transport of electrons in mesoscopic systems, particularly, the conductance of a single quantum dot and a double quantum dot system. Apart from being an outstanding scientist, he was a visionary leader as well. For visitors coming to NPL, he got a guest house built at NPL campus so that they can work comfortably even beyond the office hours. To attract research scholars to NPL, he got a hostel built for them. For his distinguished contributions in science, Government of India honored him with Padma Shri in 1991.
He was promoted then to the position of the Director General of CSIR, New Delhi and Secretary, DSIR, Government of India in 1991 till 1995. After 1995, he stayed at National Physics Laboratory and continued as Scientist of Eminence there till his demise.
Prof. Joshi was an academic leader in many ways. He served the nation and played a crucial role in establishing new institutes of higher learning viz IISER, NISER, new IITs etc. He guided leading institutions of the country through the Chairmanship of their apex Boards, including IIT Roorkee, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, Indian Association for Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, Recruitment Assessment Center (RAC DRDO), Recruitment Assessment Board (RAB CSIR), Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT Nagpur), Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), UGC-DAE, Indore etc. He also served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to Government of India. He also served as Chairman of selection committees to select Directors and Vice Chancellors of many prestigious Institutes and Universities. For his contributions, in 2003 he was honored by Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
• Padma Shri (1991)
• Padma Bhushan (2003)
• Watumull Memorial Prize (1965)
• Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Physical Sciences (1974)
• CSIR Silver Jubilee Award in (1973)
• Meghnad Saha Award for Research in Theoretical Sciences (1974)
• Dr. K.S. Krishnan Memorial Lectureship of INSA (1987)
• FICCI Award in Physical Sciences (1990)
• Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar Prize by IACS Calcutta for 1989 (in 1994)
• Goyal Prize in Physics by Goyal Foundation (1993)
• CV Raman Medal of INSA (1999)
• Kamal Kumari National Award (2011)
The Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India (SPSTI) pays tribute to the scientist of eminence and conducted a condolence meeting of few minutes on Zoom Meet.