Scientist Seetaramayya Kolachala, Father of Tribology (Chemmotology)    (Born 1899 July 15 – Died 1977 September 29)

India’s Ambassador Inder Gujral, later Prime minister, spoke at his funeral in Moscow 1977: “We are bidding goodbye to a great scientist, a great son of India and son of mankind.”

Seetaramayya  was a scientist  who influenced  the  motor vehicles and machines the world uses  daily. But very few in India know about him. For every Raman, Saha, Bhabha, Jagadish Bose we know, there are many great India-born scientists who remained unknown, and unsung. Kolachala was one such.

I do not know how far our education system was wise not to put its own great people in front of the youth as role models! Yellapragada Subba Row and Kolachala Seeta Ramayya…both belonged to poor south Indian (Telugu) families…reached heights that scarcely beings reach. Yet, to this day, they remain largely unknown and unsung heroes. Let us know about them and share widely. Let us use them as role models who made original contributions to science and technology. This brief report is meant to record a little about the great scientist who is mostly forgotten by the S&T establishment in India.

Countercurrents.org reaches his unique  story to lakhs of general  readers, more so of  the tech-savvy young generation.

Seetaramayya Kolachala, Father of Tribology (Chemmotology) (Born 1899 July 15 – Died 1977 September 29, in Moscow) was born  in Vuyyuru, a village of Krishna dt, of Andhra Pradesh,then part of  Madras province of India.

He did his graduation in Madras university, he managed to go to USA, and did his Masters in chemistry  from  Chicago University, with the title “ paths of atoms” in 1924, and worked for a private firm, L.Sonneborn & sons Inc, who built a lab for him in New York city.

Ramayya took three patents on lubricants and extending engine life.  He discontinued his Ph.D. program, he had enrolled in 1925-26,  at Cornell University.  Later he did another Masters degree from Yale University.

Sometime later he went to Moscow and headed two institutes, one of Petroleum and another of Tractors. His journey in life was inseparably linked with his voyages in science, as can be seen below.

***                             ***

The difficult voyage to USA opened the gates to a new science 

Following are edited extracts from a profile, ROUGH RIDER, Kolachala Sita Ramayya, by S. P. K. GUPTA and ACHALA JAIN.

His father encouraged him to do something constructive.  “Do everything a better way,  this is the highest yoga,” is what his father, a priest in an Andhra village on what was then the boundary between the Madras province and the Nizam state of Hyderabad, inculcated in Lal Gobind, the name Ramayya was originally given by his parents.

When he finished school and wished to study further, his father said, “Then, you must walk to Madras.” The father wanted the son to stand on his own legs, not counting on help from anyone. And yet at every step he received help, even on the long road to Madras.

He was helped by an uncle, and through him by an Englishman, to finish graduation in Madras and later proceed to USA. Going abroad for studies was not all that simple then. Informed that his father was on the death-bed, Ramayya took the steamer but before that he could see only the funeral pyre. The elder brother did not appreciate his plans for study abroad, but Lal could not be dissuaded.

The Englishman in Madras gave letters to his friends in America. A teacher who turned out to be an activist of the underground communist ring in the port persuaded a ship captain to give him a job aboard so he could earn his passage. The captain wanted the bribe for immigration people at New York to be given to him in dollars. Ramayya entrusted the two thousand rupees his father had bequeathed to a fellow student passenger for conversion.

When the captain learnt the chap had vanished with the money, he told Ramayya: “The hell with you. Get into the stokehold.” Stoking coal into the furnace tested the limits of his endurance. He not only survived the ordeal but won the other stokers when he alone was not sick during a Mediterranean storm.

The voyage introduced Ramayya not only to the fuel without which the ship would not move but to the lubricant,  grease dabbed on the connecting rod of the engine that drives the ship’s screw,  without which it would all be finished within minutes.

He did not know then but a thin film of oil would arrest his attention all life and he would see the whole world in the process that takes place in the narrow gap between the axle and the wheel.  

The captain would not give him anything for the services but the stokers forced him to shell out half of the bribe that got Ramayya past immigration.

After a while in New York as a dish washer and loader at a hotel, he went to Chicago where he was admitted by the chemistry department of the University. There came a time when he was like a naked beggar. Everything went for books and debt payoffs, and unable to secure a living, he spent the nights hungry like a tramp, on a park bench.   Ramayya soaked up everything : The unique spaces of the Great Lakes. The stench of Chicago gang wars. The roar of the main railroad. The rhythm of the Negro jazz. The silent fall of the maple leaves in the park where he spent the nights shivering from cold, hunger, fear of being discovered by cops…

His only thought was to survive, to get on to finish studies. ..He went one evening to a party at a communal home. There he met a girl, Cindy, who was captivated by his big, magnetic eyes; and he was struck by her astonishingly beautiful eyes. Cindy offered him a room from which she had moved out without terminating the lease. He accepted it. Better to sleep under a roof rather than upon a bench. They next met at a charity dinner party held by some do-gooders. Later they married, but very soon a crack developed in their relationship…

Cindy persuaded Ramayya to attend a charity dinner where would be present a person who could help him if convinced that his experiments were worth spending money on.

He was then studying thixotropy of a dispersing system to restore the initial technical quality of lubricants destroyed by mechanical action. He had discovered very fast changes in the colloidal medium: from sol to gel and back-wards. Money was needed to set up experimental models. Life became easier when he got a foundation fellowship. He finished MS at the University of Chicago in June 1924, a year early because he got credit for his University of Madras degree. The day he got his degree he learnt he would get patents for measuring thixotropy and for extending the working life of motor oil. A very famous firm offered him a job with good  salary and promotion opportunities.

Ramayya became a commercial traveller in the provinces for a retailing firm. But America speeded ahead, waiving him away as it would a fly. The person he looked for all over America to give him peace and hope was one Joe whom he met in New York. It turned out that Joe had in Europe briefly met Anand, the teacher who had introduced Ramayya to the ship captain in Madras.

Joe was working for an American firm in Russia when revolution came in 1917. He stayed on and was, while working there, captured by the American interventionist Anny, tried     backing home and letting off blacklisted.

Ramayya spent three days in Joe’s flat reading up Marx and Lenin and learning from his new mentor the arithmetic of American entrepreneurship. He returned to Chicago.

After returning to Chicago, Ramayya had been an activist of a suburban Marxist study circle but had declined to join the Party saying, “I sympathise with Marxism but I am not a communist. I am a humanist.” On the expiry of his contract, the firm offered Ramayya a rise and promotion to section chief. He thanked them but he was leaving for Russia.

***                       ***

War time Russia shaped his life, personal and professional as seen below

Ramayya responded in 1930 to the call of erstwhile Soviet Union to build its fledgling petro-chemical industry. He was offered the top position at the lubricants research division of Petrochemical Institute in Moscow. Thus Ramayya decided to move to the erstwhile Soviet Union in the 1930s. Here, he was made head of two laboratories, one at the Oil Institute and the other at the Tractor Institute.

He had little contact with India later on. A couple of years after having shifted to Russia, he  took Soviet citizenship in 1936. Although he was proud of his Soviet citizenship, he never forgot his original roots in India.

He married a Russian woman, Katya, and she was given the nickname Sita,  Rama’s wife in Ramayana:  Ekaterina Ivanovna was an unlettered orphan of German extraction driven by civil war, drought and hunger from village Povolze on the Volga to Moscow where she somehow found strength to work and adjust to city life. A certain similarity of their fates enabled her to understand Ramayya when they met. And it just happened that they married.

Katya helped Ramayya to get used to his new country, to speak and think in Russian. So different in ethnicity, education and fields of interest, they yet achieved the “soviet of love”; in all their years together  they did not fight even once. They had two children, both  daughters: Lilavati  Ramayya (born in 1934), and Nilaveni Kalachalaevna  Ramayya, born in 1945.

As a human being, Ramayya was extremely modest. He occasionally received visitors from his native of Andhra. Chasing wealth was alien to him. He was simple in his living too. The only items that filled his modest apartment were gifts from his Indian visitors. These included calendars and innumerable books in Telugu.

Tribology Society of India , in July 2001 issue of newsletter of TSI, wrote :

“ …he became the Head of Department of Fuels and Oils of the Automobile Motors Research….  he helped develop DK-NAMI, an equipment for determining the characteristics of oil.

“ His last scientific work “ Induction Period of Precipitation- A New Index of Motor Oil Quality and effectiveness of additives” was published posthumously. The 70 Papers he published constitute the foundation of a new science Chemotology (Chemistry of motors) later known as Tribology…He passed away in Moscow on sep 29, 1977.

http://www.tribologyindia.org/pdf/tsi-newsletter-july-2001.pdf)

He worked in NAMI,  Moscow Institute of Automobile Science, where he retired from service. He did pioneering research on oils and  lubricants , found out how some engines got rusted while using certain oils, and found ways to address the problem.

However, the USSR Academy of Science considered the monograph a superb piece of research and, therefore, conferred on him the degrees of both Master and Doctor of Technical Sciences.

While remaining content as a family man, Ramayya also carried out research on the quality improvement of lubricants, publishing a total of seventy research papers. He put together some of his research works in 1949 in the form of a monograph titled `Viscosity anomaly in oil and its effect on friction in machines’. This was the monograph Ramayya submitted in 1951 as his thesis for a Master’s degree.

During his last years, Ramayya was collating his ideas and concepts of a fourth state of matter now known as the plasma state. Worldwide efforts now are going on to create thermonuclear power by harnessing this state. However, Ramayya died unhappy, as he could not concretise his ideas regarding this bizarre state. He was a patient of bronchial asthma and died of double pneumonia on September 29, 1977 in Moscow.

Visited India after a gap of 42 years

He visited his native Andhra village Vuyyuru in 1963 April-May, 42 years after he left it, and spent a vacation for  six weeks. He was then locally called Russia or Soviet Ramayya.

According to one report  : When he visited India to meet his family and relatives, USSR insisted he be given Z+ security, fearing the Americans might kidnap him. That can be understood in the context of the cold war, and Chemmatology  scientist Ramayya’s crucial role during and after war time, in maintenance of war machinery. That was probably a reason he had another, assumed Russian name, Constantin Sergeovitch.

Despite  prolonged stay outside, he spoke chaste Telugu, recited poetry including lines from Sri Sri, renowned revolutionary poet- writer, apart from some slokas from Sanskrit.

He was felicitated on May 21 by local people and the Vuyyuru village panchayat, and he spoke in meetings arranged by local communists. He spoke of India-Russia friendship.

He said ancient Indians had good schooling in sciences, but in later centuries lost their way. They neglected experimentation, practice and application.  That was India’s bane apart from colonial rule that aggravated the situation, he said.

Durga Prasad Gabbita of Vuyyuru who heard him in 1963 recalled his visit in an article he wrote on 21-4-2015, and published in a Telugu website, https://sarasabharati-vuyyuru.com. Durga Prasad freely rendered into Telugu, in 32 parts, the English book on Kolachala. That attracted attention of some people.

His Centenary was celebrated on 1997 August 17 in Vuyyuru by his relatives and friends who lost contact with his family in Russia. Communist Member of Parliament, Sri Dasari Nagabhushana Rao was the Chief guest. It was well attended. All this about his India visit was recalled by Durga Prasad in Telugu. Gupta had a role in it.

Kolachala made an indirect contribution to Moscow’s state-run Progress Publishers, and its sister unit Raduga, which together published hundreds of titles in Telugu, including colourful children’s books. Svetlana Dzenith who later started a dedicated Telugu division had started, in the winter of 1956, taking Telugu lessons from Kolachala Seetaramayya, who was well-versed in his mother tongue despite being far away from Telugu land for decades. In 1969, Svetlana visited India for the first time. This marked the beginning of what later became a long-sustaining partnership between Visalandhra Publishing House and Pragati Publishers. ( recalled recently by Sai Priya Kodidala September 14, 2020).

https://www.firstpost.com/art-and-culture/from-moscow-to-vijayawada-how-generations-of-telugu-readers-grew-up-on-soviet-childrens-literature-8809591.html )

                                                  ***                   ***

A Wreath for Dr. Ramayya : The book on his life and work

Thanks to efforts made by some people, we come to know about the neglected and forgotten scientist Kolachala, through a book in English (293 pages) published a few years ago.  See below:

The publication of the book had a story of its own. Editor of the book in English  S P K Gupta was a PTI correspondent in  Moscow of 1980s who took pains to collect materials on Kolachala. Bangalore-based  ITI  in-house magazine ITI  Vani , edited by a Telugu man DVM Rao, had published an article  on him  in 1959 October-November that stimulated Gupta’s interest.  ITI  Bangalore and Science Reporter 1993 had published some articles on him. Later Gupta pursued and got some information from USA and Russia, including an old issue of Soviet Land.

A chance meeting with a Russian writer, Vladimir Sukhlov, had helped Gupta. Vladimir  had offered and  gave a lift and dropped Gupta at his hotel. Gupta  was then covering Tashkent Film Festival , and  when he made a casual enquiry, Vladimir said  he knew  about him, and  gave  the contact details of  the family of  his daughter, Leela kumari. Russian author of the book was Ghen Shangin, who married  Leela kumari, Kolachala’s  elder daughter who, for strange and unknown reasons, did not meet Gupta despite his repeated requests during the four years he worked there, did not give much information , beyond passing on the Russian book, and a Russian magazine Zvezda Vostaka that published two articles on her father. Some more information he could get from other Soviet magazines which finally helped the profile,  Kolachala Sita Ramayya –Father of Chemmotology.

Achala Jain, an interpreter in Russian, based in  Delhi, was a Moscow student, and a classmate of Gupta’s son there. They knew about Kolachala while in Moscow. She translated the Russian book into English in 1993. One IIT Delhi Professor helped her in  the technical aspects of  Chemmotology.

The book did not come to much light , until  it was serialized in New Swatantra Times of Hyderabad  in 12 parts from 1997 November to 1998 November. It attracted the attention of Russian woman Ms. Anastheia Berezovsky, a grand daughter of Kolachala, who took interest to know her ancestry and paid a visit to his relatives in Hyderabad and proceeded to his native village with Gupta’s help. She refined the book in English, and a revised edition came out in English with efforts and co-operation of many that were mobilized by Gupta. All this revived memories of Kolachala who visited Vuyyuru in 1963, and led to some articles in a Telugu website during 2015.

Gupta , still active at age 90

Gupta (Sikharam Prasanna Kumara Gupta, born 1931, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh) himself is a distinguished person to be remembered in this connection. Still active at age 90, he is an author and journalist, who brought out the stellar  role another world-renowned and distinguished scientist from Andhra, Yellapragada Subba Row.

His published works include, In quest of panacea: Successes and Failures of Yellapragada SubbaRow, written in collaboration with Dr Edgar L. Milford (Evelyn) and Apostle John And Gandhi (Navajivan).

Gupta  began as a journalist with PTI, in Madras ( now Chennai); he worked in Kurnool when it was the capital of Andhra from 1953 to 1956; in Bombay (Mumbai), and in  New Delhi where he covered Parliament and national politics from 1963 to 1982. Later he went to Moscow in the Brezhnev- Gorbachev era spanning 1982 to 1988 and was back to New Delhi as Foreign Editor (1988 to 1991). Since 1991, he is accredited to the Lok Sabha Press Gallery as a long standing Distinguished Parliamentary Correspondent.  Gupta aided by Achala brought out a fascinating account of his life and work. See edited extracts below:

***                     ***

War time Russia helped him to make a significant mark in science and technology

“He had his third brush with the Nazi bomb”

On way to work one morning in wartime Moscow he had his third brush with the Nazi bomb and had survived only because it was a dud. Now returning home by the metro while changing trains at the junction he was caught in the passenger rush at the foot of the escalator.

As he looked over men and women in front, their heads oscillated in a  disorderly manner, so much like molecules in Brownian motion, as they stepped on the  escalator before riding up in a steady stream…

Like a sleepwalker he reached home and, without taking off his jacket, began to sketch on a sheet of paper the contours of what was shaping before his mind’s eye: a lubricant is a special plastic (rheological) medium, and the interaction of its molecules (as well as the additive molecules) depends on the condition of the medium which itself gets changed as a result of their reaction…

Earlier mathematical models had not served to picturise this. Research workers including himself had till then drawn on the concept of a lubricant as an abstract medium in which the molecules, like fish in an aquarium, moved colliding periodically.

Everything was in fact the opposite: the medium was the property of molecules; it was like what molecules were in the process of interaction. For a clear understanding of the medium, a new approach was needed.

 Ramayya now recalled an earlier dose call. While he was on duty on the terrace of his apartment as air-raid warden, he had calmly caught an incendiary bomb with a pair of  tongs, drawn the sparkling thing along the terrace and coolly dropped it in the sandbox prepared in advance to meet just such a contingency, he had refused to accept the object as a weapon of death but watched those sparks as something related to lubricants, his professional preoccupation. But the thoughts the sparks had evoked got tangled amidst work and had been forgotten.

“Now in the darkening room those thoughts came back, the sparks of the incendiary

bomb were like sparks one got during autogenous welding, the sparks under the hammer of the blacksmith, the sprays of melting metal, the sparks from a volcanic eruption in the darkness of night — and the bright red lava that flows from the volcano.

“That’s it! Ramayya saw in the flash what happens in the bowels of the earth. He visualised the boiling underground seas of magma. Before him suns were floating and from their insides emerged tongues of solar flares. He conceptualised a new state of  matter which he called plastic. This concept gained credence as the plasma state after the achievement years later of controlled thermonuclear reaction.

“From that discovery by Kolachala Sita Ramayya of the properties of the plastic  medium developed a new branch of science — chemmotology, or the science of using  combustible and lubricant material in technology — the chemistry of motor oils. “

(ROUGH RIDER, Kolachala Sita Ramayya, by ACHALA JAIN and S. P. K. GUPTA.  A CSIR publication.)

Ramayya,  the anti-fascist scientist

In war time  Russia, Ramayya became head of a laboratory at the petroleum institute and another at the  tractor institute. There were not enough experienced workers and specialists but each did the work of two. There was no technical base but they supplemented the equipment bought abroad   with what they could design and improvise from what was available. He got recognition: At the May Day parade, he was surprised to find the column of his enterprise carrying his portrait.

When Hitler turned his armies into the Soviet Union, Ramayya as an Indian felt Russia was the only obstacle between fascists and his defenceless Motherland and asked at Voincomat (recruiting office) to be sent to the front.

Just before being marched off, he was ordered out of the column of enlisted home guardsmen and taken to the commandant’s office where the director of his institute told him: “Nobody doubts your patriotism but your head is required not as a bullet target but as a weapon.”

He was ordered to the rear. Within a year he was busy re-establishing the Institute while his family was moved to Siberia. Only work saved him, the work on tank fuel and lubricants.

The tank is not just an armoured tractor. The work regime of its engine is absolutely         different. He had to find a fuel that kept the tank manoeuvrable as conditions changed its

workload. The image of the tank as an elephant — hardy, fast striving and plastic in movement — gave birth to the idea that a plastic fuel would be appropriate for a plastic

machine. Drawing on his American theories, Ramayya carefully tailored kerosene-type fuels for the battle tanks and developed high quality lubricants with special additives.

The change of fuel required modernisation of the engine. Soviet tanks with new engines         operating on Ramayya’s fuels and lubricants – reliable, trouble-free on the battlefield –     proved to be superior to German tanks and were in no small measure responsible for victory.

Searching for new fuels and working on additives for tank lubricants, Ramayya was led by his  bomb encounters to his concept of  ‘ plasticheskaya prostranstva ’ which can be roughly translated as rheological medium — a substance that flows and changes under stress and strain. Out of this concept was born chemmotology the science that had its Western reincarnation in 1966 as tribochemistry. This is a part of tribology or the science and technology of friction and lubrication of interacting surfaces in relative motion.

The basic concept is set out in the thesis, “The viscous anomaly in oil and its effect on friction in machine”, which Ramayya wrote to obtain his doctorate in 1951. That it required       another 15 years to re-emerge as tribology despite the availability of a Soviet journal in English specialising in chematology is a commentary on the cold war that bedevilled every-thing including science.

Without giving up his scientific quest he also made his mark on the literary scene in Moscow. It was in a sense a second working life. He unwittingly got involved in helping

Svetlana Dzenith in the compilation of a Telugu – Russian Dictionary and his circle of acquaintances widened to include philologists, linguists and translators. And, students of Telugu when he helped Nikita Gurev with his Telugu course at the University of Leningard.  He was happy to be commissioned to translate Etukuri Balaramamurty’s A Brief Survey of the History of Andhra People into Russian in 1956. A visit to his house became a must in the 1950s for the swelling number of Indians — scientists, scholars, artists, writers, students — who went to Moscow.

 

Sergei Baruzdin, author of poems on India, called his life “a wonderful odyssey of an Indian Marxist”. He was variously known as “Russian Andhra”, “Moscow Andhra” and “Soviet Andhra”. The basic thoughts of his last scientific work, “The Induction Period of Precipitation — a new index of motor oil quality and effectiveness of additives in them”, was published posthumously and deserves to be better known.

Busy with his routine work, he left behind only memories and a few scientific articles. His magnum opus, The Theory of the Plastic (Rheological) Medium, remained scattered in lectures. The workers of his publishing house “Progress” saw him off on his last journey. The cortege paused at NAMI for his scientific colleagues to pay homage. Ambassador Inder Gujral spoke at the funeral: “We are bidding goodbye to a great scientist, a great son of India and son of mankind.”

***                             ***

Given below is a Book Review by DR P K Mukerjee, Lecturer, Department of Physics, Deshbandhu College, Delhi University. It briefly introduces his life and work.

A WREATH FOR DOCTOR RAMAYYA

By GhenShangin – Berezevosky.

Translated from Russian by Achala Jain and edited by S P K Gupta, Evelyn Publishers in collaboration with Tribology Society of India;Pages 293.

ISBN: 81-900 041-15. Language: English.

Fuels play an important role in the modern industrialised world. Without them, machines will not move. To move the `wheels of the world’ smoothly, lubricants are needed. With appropriate additives, the performance of lubricants can be significantly improved for better fuel performance and longer life of the machine. The chemistry of fuels and lubricants is studied under a new branch of science known as chemmotology in the erstwhile Soviet Union and it is recognised in the West as tribochemistry.

One of the initial pioneeering workers in this field was Kolachala Seeta Ramayya,  now rightly called the Father of Chemmotology. He hailed from Vuyyuru, a small Andhra village, on what was then the boundary between the Madras province and the Nizam state of Hyderabad. His father, who was a village priest, inculcated high values in him right from his childhood. He told him to “do everything the best possible way’’ because it was “the only way to become human’’.

Guided by these words of wisdom of his father, Ramayya set off from his native village for America. During his voyage to America, Ramayya was introduced not only to the fuel without which the engine would not move but also to the lubricant without which it would break down in no time. However, he had no inkling whatsoever at that time that a thin film of oil would arrest his attention all his life and that he would “see the whole world through the processes that take place between the axle and the wheel”.

In this respect, Ramayya’s voyage was different from the voyage to Europe during which the celebrated physicist C V Raman was attracted to the blue of the Mediterranean Sea, an attraction that ultimately culminated in the discovery of the Effect that won him the Nobel prize.

While in America, Ramayya had to live in extreme poverty. However, support came from Ceylonese Ponnamambalam who became his friend and also from Cindy who offered him a room to stay in. Ramayya later marrried Cindy, but soon a crack developed in their relationship. After receiving Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, Ramayya could manage to get a decent job in L. Sonneborn Sons Inc, a privately owned corporation of the New York State. This firm was in the petrochemical business and was executing contracts for the U.S. Defence Department. Working in this firm, Ramayya developed various compositions of additives for improving the performance of motor oils. He prepared various patent applications. However, Ramayya’s firm filed only three applications in 1930. The first of these patents obtained in 1933 was titled `Art of purifying petroleum sulphonic acids derived from the treatment of mineral oils with sulphuric acid’.

***

Showing continued zeal and perseverance, Ramayya could develop kerosene type fuels and high quality lubricants with special additives for facilitating battle tanks maneuverable even under sub-zero temperatures and fast changing weather conditions in the USSR.

This proved to be a key factor for the Soviet victory over the Germans in World War-II. Ramayya was also instrumental in developing some of the instruments that saved a great number of machines from premature wear and tear. They were not only put to use in the Soviet Union but found their way to other socialist countries from China to Czechoslovakia.

Indeed the story of Ramayya is the romantic story of an unsung hero. Ramayya has told this fascinating story in first person in the book under review. However, it is not an autobiography in the strict sense of the term as it was originally written in Russian by Ramayya’s son-in-law, GhenShangin-Berezovsky. The author has used several literary devices to tell the story and has disguised names except those of Soviet personalities figuring in the narrative. However, as remarked by the editor, neither the events nor the central characters are imaginary.

The book has been translated by Achala Jain and edited by S P K Gupta. The editor has done a wonderful job of writing a chronological profile based on interviews with the Ramayya family in Russia and India. In a separate section, the editor has also compiled a list of Ramayya’s scientific work including his two dissertations and a host of research papers.

Incidentally, Ramayya’s contributions to science are not known in India for he worked first in the US and then in the erstwhile Soviet Union. The vivid account of Ramayya’s life and his scientific discoveries is both interesting and useful, more so to the Indian readers who would certainly love to read about a scientist of Indian origin whom they do not know well. The book on the whole is well written, meticulously translated and edited. One can enjoy reading the book even at one single stretch.

For more on Dr. Seetha Ramayya

http://amazingtelugus.blogspot.com/2005/06/kolachala-seetaramayya.html

https://sarasabharati-vuyyuru.com, 2015/05/17.

FAMILY : Two Daughters

LILAVATI  RAMAYYA (1st daughter born in 1934)

https://ru-ru.facebook.com/lilavati.ramayya

Nilaveni Kalachalaevna Ramayya,     (2nddaughter)   BORN IN 1945,  STAGE ACTRESS, taught acting skills to a theatrical group in Copenhagen. Probably could understand and speak Telugu, but may not be able to do now being out of touch for so long.Parmagade 56, 3rd, 2300 Copenhagen S, Tel. 30 11 45 68

https://www.krak.dk/p/nilaveni+kalachalaevna+ramayya/54992825

https://www.krak.dk/person/resultat/Nilaveni+Kalachalaevna+Ramayya

http://www.tribologyindia.org/pdf/tsi-newsletter-july-2001.pdf

(About Dr M Bapuji : An activist who was a Retd. Senior Scientist, CSIR 1973-2002 (30 yrs), in Odisha, with vast experience across disciplines. M.Bapuji, born 1948, had a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, he guided six to Ph.D in varied cross disciplinary subjects, and was associated with various universities and an IIT. Has published 70 papers, holds 6 Patents, transferred 9 technologies to industry, helped stop imports of a group of chemicals. He discovered a 80km-long ridge reef off Odisha coast, reported about 140 sponges, corals etc for the first time from this reef. Established lab for microbes associated with sedentary fauna. Studied over 1200 microbes from this resource. Was General Secretary (3 yrs) and President (3 yrs) for All India CSIR Scientific Workers’ Association (SWA) affiliated to the World Federation of Scientific Workers. He was Director of a rural PG centre at G.Mamidada for five years; senior academic consultant for Nannaya University and for The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU), Bangalore. In recent past he was a Visiting Professor and Research Adviser, Acharya BM Reddy College of Pharmacy, Bangalore. Worked on fluorosis voluntarily with Fluorosis Mitigation Research and Resource Center (as Scientific Adviser, FMRRC, Hubli, Karnataka, founded by Dr. KS Sharma). Working on improvement of tribal schools, education, labs, faculty in W.Godavari dt(AP). Currently based at Hyderabad. Has contributed to countercurrents.org, mainly on fluorosis.

 Email  :bapujim@gmail.com


SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER


 

2 Comments

  1. Avatar S. N. Murthy Ch says:

    Thanks for providing good information regarding the life and contribution of an India born great scientist. The present young generation of India has to learn much from stories like this.

  2. Avatar countercurrents says:

    Comment by Chandrayya, Science activist.

    The story on the forgotten Indian scientist Seetaramayya Kolachala, by distinguished scientist-activist Dr. M.Bapuji I know and met, published on Dec 22 is really timely, India International Science Festival 2020 commencing that day to end on Dec 25. PM Modi is addressing it, more as an event manager, even as official India neglects genuine and original science. Lip service is the order of the day.