Ravinder Nath Kapil obtained his PhD degree (1959) from the University of Delhi. His specializations were in Plant Embryology and Morphology, Ultra structure, and History of Botany. He was Head, Department of Botany, and Director, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, University of Delhi. Kapil was INSA Senior Scientist during 1994-99.
Academic and Research Achievements: Kapil had investigated the reproductive biology and internal structure of a large number of little-known as well as interesting families of flowering plants. He and his team have re-assessed embryological basis. TEM, SEM and fluorescence microscope studies have revealed many interesting, new facts about anther, pollen, ovule, female gametophyte and fertilization. They have investigated the effect of various environmental factors on reproductive phenomena such as fertilization and seed development. He demonstrated the co-occurrence of mono- bi- and tetrasporic types of embryo sacs in one and the same species and studied the effect of temperature (low) on double fertilization.
Other Contributions: Kapil was deeply interested in the history of botany. His analysis of Indian scriptures and other works has led to a better appreciation of the status of biological sciences in Ancient and Medieval India. He was Life Member, International Society of Plant Morphologists (President); Electron Microscope Society of India; Indian Society of Cell Biology; Society of Plant Taxonomists; Palynological Society of India; Centre for Environment and Rural Upliftment (Eco-Transformation); Society for the Promotion of Plant Science Research; and Life Member and Councillor, Society for Advancement of Botany. He was Editor of Phytomorphology.
Awards and Honours: Kapil received Navashin Memorial Medal by Komarov Botanical Institute of USSR Academy of Sciences (1990), MOP Iyengar Birth Centenary Endowment Lectureship of University of Madras (1990-91). He was a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, Indian Botanical Society, and Palynological Society of India.