Dr. Manju SHARMA
Grand daughter of the illustrious Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of the Benares Hindu University (BHU), Dr. Manju Sharma trained as a plant scientist is one of the pioneer of Biotechnology in the country. She with the first rank, received the Birbal Sahni Memorial Gold Medal. Her well-known work on the detailed ontogeny, development and distribution of sclereids in stem and floral parts, brought out, for the first time, taxonomic and phylogenetic significance of sclereids. Her Post-doctoral research at Purdue University, USA, on latex bearing plants led to the understanding that ethanol <can stimulate the yield of latex and rubber by 100%. She has many research publications; prepared a number of special papers, policy reports on science and technology.
As General President ISCA and President of The National Academy of Sciences (NASI) (the only lady scientist to occupy the position of President in any of the Science Academies of India), she established a number of new institutions in biotechnology, a unique feature of her tenure as Secretary, DBT. She is known for her development, promotion, coordination and application of biotechnology nationally and internationally including excellent governance.
She is a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences; conferred Honorary Doctorate (D.Sc.) by many universities including Purdue University USA in 2012 and from Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi in 2018. She has received large number of awards and recognitions. She has been given Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2007.
She has mentored a large number of women scientists and young students. Dr. Manju Sharma is presently the Advisor for New Initiatives in NASI and in charge of many programs, which relate to the national missions such as Skill Development, Swatch Bharat, Swasth Bharat, Make in India and Startups.
Dr. Manju Sharma has left her mark as an outstanding researcher, science leader, promoter and manager and demonstrated her excellent professional skills in various positions she occupied. Her contributions have been of a lasting nature. She has dedicated over the last 30 years, all her efforts for the promotion and application of science with the deepest commitment; and her performance has been outstanding throughout.