A researcher for a lifetime
He is someone who has described 120 organisms, which were the first of their kind, in various international journals. But he is also someone who describes himself as one who does “not do much apart from research and teaching.”
Meet Prof. C. Manoharachary, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Botany, O.U.
At 74, he is still a tireless researcher, who has bagged three lifetime achievement awards, the latest in 2017 from the International Society of Micrology and Plant Pathology. The last award only added to his crowded shelf of 26.
“I feel any award given to me is an award given to my institution. My students, my teachers and constant encouragement from my faculty enabled me to reach these heights. They deserve all the credit,” he said in an interaction with Courier.
Early in his career, he bagged a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Exeter, UK. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Indo-American fellowship. A cultural exchange between India and Germany also enabled him to tune his research.
“During the early 1970s, the research in India was not on modern biology. We were outdated, but by the turn of century, botanical research in India shifted its focus to modern botany,” he said.
He credited the youngsters who returned to the country after studying at internationally reputed universities for this shift.
During his career spanning 40 years, he has guided 50 PhD scholars and published 560 research papers. He has authored or edited 30 books, some of which were published by reputed companies like Springer, Academic, Kluwer, etc.
Born in Vavilala village in Karimnagar district, Telangana, he has worked hard to ensure what he is at this moment. Currently he is a Platinum Jubilee fellow at the National Academy of Sciences apart being awarded multiple fellowships by the UGC and CSIR.
“I do not do much apart from research and teaching. If at all I have time, I read science fiction or autobiographies”, he said.
At Osmania, he is presently working on multiple projects including mushrooms with reference to their usage in pharmaceuticals, medicine, agriculture and organic farming. He is also focused on isolation of molecules that can cure diseases like cancer.
Speaking of the Department of Botany at Osmania, he proudly said, “This department is no less than any in India. We have the infrastructure and our research is on par with international standards”.
The department boasts of excellent facilities and is also in process of acquiring advanced equipment. A 11-acre botanical park was also established for the department.