Srinivasachari Rajappa obtained his PhD (Chemistry) from the Madras University in 1958. After a short stint as Lecturer at the IIT Madras, undertook postdoctoral research, first at the Florida State University, and then at Harvard with RB Woodward. Thereafter, he joined the CIBA Research Centre in Bombay, where he worked for nearly 22 years. In 1987, he moved to the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune as the Head of the Division of Organic Synthesis, where he continued up to his retirement (1994), and for another 5 years as Emeritus Scientist.
Academic and Research Achievements: To Rajappa's credit stand the synthesis of cyclodipeptide monoimino ethers and using them as novel chiral synthons, a novel synthesis of thiophenes and thiazoles, synthesis and structural studies on push-pull systems, especially nitroenamines, discovery of a versatile synthesis of nitroacetamides and the elusive nitrothioacetamides from nitroenamines, use of nitroacetyl group as a novel peptide synthon, new synthetic strategies for carbamates and thiocarbamates, including a viable non-MIC route to carbamate pesticides, and the first demonstration of the existence of non-bonded attractive interactions involving sulphur in solution phase. His responsibilities included interaction with industry, initiating research projects of potential value to the industry, and guiding students for their PhD degrees.
Other Contributions: Dr Rajappa's deep concern at the continuing environmental degradation led him to give seminars to industrial R&D groups on modern developments in catalysis aimed at bringing about the same chemical transformations with greater efficiency and hence less pollution. Of late he has been addressing students, both at the graduate and postgraduate level, on Ethics in Science.
Awards and Honours: Dr Rajappa was conferred KG Naik Gold Medal by the MS University of Baroda, and the Life-time Achievement Award of the Chemical Research Society of India.