Vishwa Raman Prasad Sinha received BSc (1957) from Bihar University; MSc (1961) from Ranchi University; PhD (1965) from Liverpool University, UK; and also conferred DSc (hc) by CIFE, Mumbai (2007). He became Lecturer in Zoology (1961) at the Ranchi University and left for England in 1963, where he was awarded Leverhulme, Post Doctorate and, Environment Research Council fellowships (1964-68). He became Principal Scientific Officer/Acting Director, TFCRI, Malacca, West Malaysia under ODA, London (1968-71); returned to India and was Project Coordinator, CIFRI/ICAR (1971-79), and FAO National Project Director/OSD at Bhubanswar (1976-86); FAO Senior Aquaculturist, NACA, Bangkok, (1986-88); and Director/Vice-Chancellor, CIFE, Mumbai, (1988-92). He served FAO as a Project Manager, in Bangladesh, (1992-94); and then Acting Director, CIFRI, Barrackpore (1995-96) and retired from ICAR in 1997. He also served as World Bank/Winrock International/Arcadis Euroconsult Consultant in Bangladesh (1999- 2001).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Sinha's outstanding research on the biology of European Eel showed for the first time that the Syrski organ was not always the testis and thus he sexed eels correctly. He established that male and female eels live together in fresh and brackish water contrary to the earlier belief that they live separately and clarified the confusion of their sex change. Also controversy about breeding migration of European eel to the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic was clarified. In Malaysia, he fractionated fish pituitary gonadotropins and postulated that gonadal hydration of carp is a pre-requisite for spawning. In India, he provided dynamic leadership as the Project Coordinator for Composite Fish Culture and Seed Production and revolutionized freshwater aquaculture in the country. He was equally devoted to aquaculture transfer of technology in the country and abroad. He taught 'fish biology' for about a decade at the universities of Ranchi and Liverpool (1961-71).
Other Contributions: Dr Sinha established the CIFA at Bhubaneswar in 1986, a premier institution for higher research, extension and training. Under NACA, he also established the Lead Centre on Carp farming in Asia at FARTC/CIFA. He got the CIFE at Mumbai upgraded to the status of university and assisted many other countries in bringing excellence in fisheries and aquaculture research and development. He also organized training for over 300 Senior Aquaculturists from Asia and Africa in Carp farming.
Awards and Honours: Dr Sinha received the Leverhulme Fellowship Award (1964), Hooker Award (1975), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize (1976), ICAR Team Leadership Award (1979), Lal Bahadur Shastri Award (1989), Great Son of the Soil Award (1991), Aashirwad Award (1992), Congress of Zoology Gold Medal (1995), Eminent Zoologist Award by the Zoological Society of India (2006), and the Millennium Plaque of Honour by ISCA (2008). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.