Prof. MS Kanungo
Prof. PV Ramamurti
Prof. Venkova Rao
The rapid increase in the aged population is a global phenomenon. Like many developed countries, India has a large proportion of the elderly in the population. This demographic change is a result of the decline in child death and increased life expectancy due to advancements made in medical sciences for the control of infectious diseases. India has currently an aged population (60 plus) that comprises nearly 7% (75 million) of the total population. This is expected to increase to nearly150 million by the year 2025. Thus it becomes very essential that scientists of different disciplines and workers of various social organizations, interested in the welfare of the elderly, get together and make a united effort to keep the aged people healthy and happy.
With the above objective in mind, the Association of Gerontology (India) (AGI) was established in December 1981 with its headquarters at the Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, where pioneering research in biological aspects of aging is going on since 1965. AGI is a non-profit organization registered under U.P. government Society Registration act XXI 1860 No.41 VI-268. In 1982 the association was affiliated to the International Association of Gerontology (IAG) as its sister society. The IAG was established in 1950 in Liege. The IAG has four regional associations: North American, South American, European and Asia-Oceania region. In 2005, the name of IAG has been changed to IAGG (International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics).
Professor Madhu Sudan Kanungo
Professor Madhu Sudan Kanungo, the preeminent gerontologist of India, was the Founder, President, and Patron of Associationof Gerontology, India. Professor Kanungo was born in Orissa, India, on April 1, 1927 and took his last breathe on July 26, 2011. He served the Banaras Hindu University for more than 40 years as full professor, and at different times as the Head of the Department of Zoology and the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and also Chancellor, Nagaland University. He established his “Biochemistry Laboratory” in the Department of Zoology.He supervised 32 PhD students to obtain their PhD degree with him. Dr. Kanungo was a dedicated teacher in animal physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and later neurobiology. At Banaras Hindu University, he founded and was the coordinator of the “Brain Research Center” and also chaired various committee of education scientific research in Government of India. Dr. Kanungo introduced gerontology to India in the late 1960s and proposed the “Gene Regulation Theory of Aging” that argued that cellular differentiation, development,and aging were a result of the sequential activationand suppression of a network of genes in our cells.Dr. Kanungo and colleagues published more than 139research articles on biology of aging, and he himself authored 2 books: “Biochemistry of Ageing” (AcademicPress, UK, 1980; translated into Russian) and “Genes andAging” (Cambridge University Press, UK, 1994).
Dr. Kanungo has been recognized with innumerable awards and fellowships including high civilian honor of PadmaShri from Government of India, Shanti Swarup BhatnagarPrize (1971) from the Council of Scientific and IndustrialResearch, Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1987 – 1989), IndianNational Science Academy Golden Jubilee CommemorationMedal (1992), and Sir Shriram Memorial Orationmedal of National Academy of Medical Sciences, India(1998). Further, he was member of theInternational Council of Gerontology (1984 – 1989), elected for the three times fellow of Indian Academy of Neuroscience (IAN), expertmember of the Committee of World Health Organization onHealth of Elderly Persons (1989), and on the editorial boardof several international journals on aging.
Professor P.V. Ramamurti
Prof. P.V. Ramamurti is patron of the Association of Gerontology India and its former President, was born in 1936 at Madras, now Chennai. He served as Professor of Social and Behavioural Sciences in Department of Psychology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, India. He was the first Ph.D. in Psychology of Aging in India; first to secure a Research Project on Psycho social aspects of Aging (from ICSSR); first to author a scientific paper on Psychology of Ageing (1956), first to introduce the teaching of Ageing as a subject in India, and was the founder Director of the Center for Research on Ageing in the Department of Psychology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He is known as Father of Modern Indian Gerontology.
He secured various awards during his career including Sandox International Project Award, on the study of successful Ageing, the Basu Medal of the Association of Physicians India, Distinguished Gerontologist Award of Age care (India), Indian Science congress Association Platinum Jubilee lecture Award, Pranavananda Trust lecture award and Award for life Time achievement in Research in Psychology and the Life time Achievement Award of the Association of Gerontology India. He served as a member of the National commission on older persons and awarded the US Fulbright senior fellowship. He still contributes in the field of aging and research with passion even in the age of 80+.
Professor Venkoba Rao
Prof.Venkoba Rao called the father of the Indian Psychiatry. Prof. Venkoba Rao's work in his lifetime continues to inspire a host of psychiatrists to further the cause of mental health not only in India, but also the world over. He did his MBBS at Madras Medical College andsecured prizes in Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He got hisMD in general medicine and DPMin from NIMHANS, Bangalore. He was awarded PhD and DSc by Madras University.
He served as a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry in Madurai Medical Collegefrom 1962 to 1985.After retirement he continued to be associated with Madurai Medical College asan Emeritus Professor. Besides he was officer-in-charge, ICMR Centre for AdvancedResearch in Health and Behaviour, Madurai Medical College and Rajaji Government Hospital, Madurai. Professor Rao served as the Editor-in-Chief of Indian Journal of Psychiatry from1970 to 1978. He has been in the Editorial Board of Indian Journal of Psychiatry,Social Psychiatry, NIMHANS Journal, Transcultural Psychiatric Review and Crisis.He was associated with ICMR, NAMS, DST and Medical Council of India in variouscapacities. He has contributed to the area of teaching in psychiatry, has more than300 National and International publications including a dozen books.
Professor Rao has made original contribution to the clinical profile of depressiveillness in the Indian setting, in epidemiology, genetic aspects, long-term course andoutcome and interpreted the phenomenology of illness with reference to thecultural and philosophical context. He was a pioneer in this research. On suicidal behaviour in India, Professor Rao has made significant contributions regarding etiological factors and most importantly on prophylaxis and the relationship between pineal hormones, depressive illness and suicidal behaviour.He was the first to start a lithium clinic which had on its rolls two hundred patientswith affective disorders, one of the largest in the world and has investigated itsclinical effects, safety and mode of action in depth. In Geriatric psychiatry hisoriginal observations have provided the basis for organization of integrated primaryhealth care at the PHC level and should serve as a model for the care of elderly inIndia. His deep study of Indian philosophies and, especially Bhagawat Gita has added a new dimension to psychotherapy in India. According to Dr Rao, Gita is themasterpiece of psychotherapy.Professor Rao major achievements have been on "depressive diseases". Forover three decades he has focused on its neurobiological psychopharmacologica1, experimental, neuropsychiatric and transcultural aspects.