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C Ramachandran Memorial Lectures
The C Ramachandran Memorial lecture is an Annual lecture instituted in the memory of C Ramachandran by his parents Mrs Seetha Gopalan and Dr C Gopalan. The lecture is given by eminent scientists working in the field of food, nutrition and health.
About C Ramachandran
C. RAMACHANDRAN was the son of Dr C.Gopalan and Mrs Seetha Gopalan. He was born in 1944, and succumbed to viral hepa¬titis in 1963. In his brief life of 19 years, C. Ramachandran (Chandru, as he was known to his family and friends) showed how special a person he was in many ways.
He had his schooling at St Joseph's, Coonoor. Even in those early years, Chandru showed passionate interest in subjects as diverse as chemistry, photography, astronomy, philately, dramatics and pub¬lic speaking. He threw himself whole-heartedly into everything he took up. It was not in his nature to do anything by halves. Whether it was script writing for a school play, or building a crystal radio set from first principles; whether it was preparation for an examina¬tion or playing hockey in the front garden, Chandru settled for nothing but his very best effort. His was a mind rich in ideas, and always questing for even more ideas. Photography did not mean merely pointing and clicking. It meant taking the best possible pictures with a primitive box cam¬era, and then developing and printing them himself. Learning about natural history did not mean merely looking at a slide under a microscope. It meant learning to prepare the slide. Astronomy did not mean merely looking at an encyclopaedia. It meant plead¬ing for a proper telescope to look at the heavens for himself. And all the while he read. He read everything he could lay his hands on. His was a mind hungry for knowledge. He learnt by reading; he learnt by listening; he learnt by arguing; he learnt "by doing”. He was learning something every waking moment of his life. And maybe even when he slept, for he would often wake up with a fresh idea or two to try out. By the time Ramachandran completed school in 1958 (passing his examinations with distinction), his main interests were theoretical physics and pure mathematics. He read up prodigiously about these subjects and absorbed their intricacies amazingly well. Yet he took up medicine as a career. He reluctantly accepted the argument that theoretical physics may not be a practical career option. Maybe his life thus far had shown him that he could tackle two completely different interests and excel at both! Ramachandran joined the Madras Medical College and plunged into the study of Anatomy (which he found unstimulating), Physi¬ology and Biochemistry (both of which appealed to his love of reasoning and order). Simultaneously, he was writing papers on theoretical physics. As was typical of him, here too he was looking to break new ground. He wrote the papers painstakingly by hand in his spare time (if, indeed, a medical student can be said to have spare time!), and the complicated equations criss-crossed the pages. He wrote of Bose Einstein and Fermi-Dirac Statistics, of electron clouds, and of Rela¬tivity. His formal training in mathematics and physics had been merely up to school level. Everything else was self-taught. One such paper, titled "On the Behaviour of Electron Clouds in Potential Fields" he decided to send to the prestigious publication Progress of Theoretical Physics brought out by Kyoto University, Japan. He had been in regular correspondence with many scien-tists, including Professor Alladi Ramakrishnan and Professor G.N. Ramachandran, both of whom were kind and supportive.
He was advised that the paper was good enough to send for publication. The journal wrote back after a peer review, and asked for some clarifications. By the time that letter arrived, Ramachandran had been laid low with severe hepatitis. The disease struck surreptitiously some time during Ramachandran's Biochemistry year in college. Meanwhile he had been busy writing papers on Applied Physiology and mathematical models of biochemical processes! In 1963, this gifted young man passed away. Allied that special mind was a warm and affectionate nature, high idealism and personal courage in adversity.
In instituting the Annual C. Ramachandran Memorial Lecture at the Nutrition Foundation of India, we celebrate his brief yet shining life, and the relentless quest for excellence that was second nature to him.
List of lectures delivered
Year Month Speaker Topic
2012 November Dr B Sesikeran Changing scenario of micronutrient deficiencies
2011 January Kamala Krishnaswamy Evolutionary aspects of diets in the context of current chronic diseases
2010 January V Mohan The Diabetes Epidemic in India. Why? What can done
2009 January AV Kurpad The small Indian infant: food for thought
2008 January Prakash Shetty Food and nutrition security for achieving MDG
2007 January V Prakash Food Technology for better Nutrition
2006 January D Banerji Primary Health Care in India: How to achieve what Bhore Committee envisaged
2005 January Ashish Bose developemental Transition-Demographic context
2004 January MS Swaminathan Mission 2007: A Nutrition Secure India
2003 January RA Mashelkar Building a bridge between traditional wisdom and modern science
2002 January NK Ganguly Unmet challenges,possible solutions and future challenges in nutrition in India
2001 January MK Bhan Child Health in India.