Balakrishna Ganesh Deshpande received his PhD (1953) from University of Poona with specialization on petroleum geology, hydrogeology, engineering geology and seismology. He worked variously as Director, Geological Survey of India (1936-52); Deputy Director, Indian Bureau of Mines (1952-56); Chief of Geological Services, Oil and Natural Gas Commission (1956-70); Head, Department of Geology, University of Poona, Pune (1970-76); and Professor of Geology, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (1977-83).
Academic and Research Achievements: Deshpande did extensive research on groundwater resources of the alluvial tracts of Gujarat. His work showed the high potential for oil exploration in India. He also carried out extensive investigations on earthquakes. He participated in the investigation of two earthquakes at Makran coast and Koyna in 1945 and 1967 respectively. He is the author of many books, which include Groundwater Resources of the Alluvial Tracts of Gujarat (1953), Earthquakes, Animals and Man (1988), and The World of Petroleum (1922).
Other Contributions: Balakrishna Deshpande delivered, under the auspices of the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, lectures on how to survive an earthquake, in about fifty towns in India and some in Pakistan. He served as a Member in the INSA Council (1977).
Awards and Honours: Professor Deshpande received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Government of Maharashtra; the Outstanding Teacher Award by the University of Dar-es-Salaam as also the title of UGC National Lecturer in 1974. He was made Honorary Professor, Mahrashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science, Pune. He was a Member and Fellow of the Maharashtra Academy of Sciences; the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India; Geological Society of India; the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (Brazil), and the Association of Geohydrologists.